National, Indiana bankruptcy filings tick up, reversing trend

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Reversing a years-long trend of declining bankruptcy filings, new cases inched upward in the year ending Sept. 30, 2019, the federal judiciary reported. The rise in bankruptcy filings in Indiana outpaced the national increase, the report shows.

Total filings in U.S. bankruptcy courts nationwide increased 0.4% for the last statistical year, the first such increase in year-over-year numbers in at least five years. The federal courts said the 776,674 total personal and business bankruptcy filings remained 51% below the peak of insolvencies experienced in the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2010.

Bankruptcies in Indiana followed the trend, though statewide, the rate of increase was greater than the national total.

In the Southern District, filings increased 1.3% overall for the year ending Sept. 30, 2019 compared with the prior period. There were 14,172 total filings in the 2019 period compared to 13,989 in 2018.

In the Northern District, the increase in filings was negligible. Just 30 more cases were filed in 2019 compared to the prior year, bringing the total to 8,984 district wide.

Nationwide, business filings increased in the last year by more than 3%. A total of 22,910 sought bankruptcy protection in 2019 compared with 22,103 in 2018. In the Southern District, 226 companies filed for bankruptcy in 2019 compared to 193 in the prior period. Bucking the trend, five fewer businesses in the Northern District filed bankruptcy in 2019 compared to the 94 that did in 2018.

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