May 20, 2022
US Bankruptcy Courthouse

The number of new US bankruptcy filings in February rose by 3.2% from January to 26,985, with the increase driven by individual filings, data from Epiq Bankruptcy Technology shows.

There were 15.196 individual bankruptcy filings in February, an increase of 1.1% on the previous month. California and Florida were the states with most individual filings, with 1,744 and 1,248 filings respectively.

The number of commercial filings did fall though, down 10.8% from January to 203. It is worth noting that due to the smaller numbers involved with commercial filings, large month-to-month swings are more likely.

The total number of bankruptcy cases currently open in February was 714,866, a reduction on the 723,725 open cases in January.

“Although February 2022 new bankruptcy filings continue to be well below prepandemic levels, chapter 7s are up and chapter 13 individual filings remained flat month-over-month, even with February having three less days than January,” said Epiq’s senior vice president Chris Kruse. “We are watching these trends closely.”

Up until now, the tsunami of bankruptcy filings expected in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has not materialized. This is mainly thanks to economic relief and stimulus measures put in place by authorities though, and analysts have warned that many bankruptcies have not been avoided but simply kicked down the line.

The cracks may well now be starting to show, with inflation on the rise and the Russian invasion of Ukraine adding to global uncertainty.