Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings up 8% in 2010
Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2010, and accounted for the second largest sector of bankruptcy filings. Filings increased 8% to 438,913 from almost 407,000 a year prior, according to U.S. Court System data. The 9th Judicial District, also one of the hardest hit regions during the housing crisis, posted the highest number of Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings at 87,760 for the whole year. This district encompasses California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Montana Oregon and Washington. A Chapter 13 allows individuals to undergo a financial restructuring supervised by a federal bankruptcy court. If a borrower is foreclosed on, a Chapter 13 may allow them to stay in their house until their finances are organized. In the three months ended Dec. 31, a little more than 109,000 Chapter 13s were filed across the U.S. Chapter 13s were beat out in terms of volume only by Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings, which focus on liquidation. There were 257,668 filed in the fourth quarter and 1.1 million filed during all 2010. Bankruptcy filings have been on the rise since 2006, when filings totaled 617,660 across all sectors. This also marked the first full 12-month period after the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Prevention Act of 2005 was enacted. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.