US Business Bankruptcies Dropped 24 Percent!

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE — Business bankruptcy filings in the United States dropped 24 percent in 2013 to their lowest level since at least 2006, according to a report on Monday.

Overall, bankruptcies by businesses and individuals combined fell 13 percent, said the report, released by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bankruptcy filings by businesses and individuals spiked as the United States entered recession in 2007. The numbers have fallen steadily in recent years as the U.S. Federal Reserve has kept borrowing costs low.

Monday’s report, which was compiled for the ABI by bankruptcy claims processor Epiq Systems Inc, said 44,111 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2013, down from 57,964 in 2012. Epiq’s data goes back to 2007.

Total filings by businesses and individuals fell to 1.03 million, the report said, from 1.19 million in 2012. The number of filings fell in every state but rose by 7 percent in Puerto Rico, which has been hit by a prolonged recession.

The average number of filings by businesses and individuals over the past five years was 1.32 million per year. That historically low level is partly the result of a 2005 law that made it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy. In the 10 years leading up to enactment of the law, filing averaged 1.5 million per year, according to the ABI.