Despite a 10 percent increase in commercial bankruptcy filings last month, total bankruptcy filings by individuals and businesses in the United States were down in July by 8 percent from a year ago to 61,308 filings.
Consumer filings dropped 15 percent during the month, but businesses, especially in the hard hit energy sector, were more likely to seek debt relief under the federal bankruptcy code.
"Businesses facing financial headwinds continue to turn to the financial fresh start of bankruptcy," said Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute. "Driven by distress in the energy and retail sectors, commercial bankruptcy filings for 2016 will likely total close to 40,000 (including the 2,922 commercial filings)."
The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy-filing rate in July was 2.53 filings per 1,000 per population, a slight decrease from the filing rate of 2.56 during the first six months of the year. But Tennessee continued to have the highest bankruptcy filing rate in the nation with a filing rate more than twice the U.S. average. For every 1,000 residents, Tennessee recorded 5.56 bankruptcy filings in July, while Alabama ranked second with 5.34 filing per 1,000 and Georgia was No. 3 at 4.62 filing per 1,000 persons.