According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix, Arizona, bankruptcies in the Phoenix area dropped 11.4 percent from December 2012. With the economy showing recent signs of life and the jobless rate inching lower, bankruptcies ended 2013 with their best showing since the middle of 2008, when the recession was building up steam. In December, new filings dipped to 1,042, the lowest total since May 2008 or in 67 months.
For the full year (2013), there were 16,425 filings — down 18.5 percent from the 20,156 filings in 2012. The trend for the Phoenix metro area filings mirrored that of Arizona, which was down 8.9 percent from December 2012 — in December 2013 — or year over year. The full-year total fell 19.1 percent in the state.
Consumers and businesses filed 1.03 million bankruptcies nationally, in 2013. According to data from Epiq Systems, this was a drop of 13 percent from the 1.19 million in the prior year. For every 1,000 Americans, there were 3.3 filings last year — down from 3.8 per 1,000 in 2012.
“The 2013 filings represent the lowest total since 2007, and they have dropped each year since 2010,” said executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute, Samuel Gerdano. He also predicts this trend to continue. Consumer filings accounted for 95.7 percent of the total, nationally. National bankruptcies fell 12 percent year over year in December 2013.
The economy has picked up steam lately, with a 4.1 percent rise in Gross Domestic Product in the third quarter, the most recent reading. The unemployment rate has also fallen to 7 percent, from 7.9 percent at the beginning of 2013. Additionally, consumers are having success dealing with debts. Credit card and mortgage delinquencies have tumbled overall, nationally, over the previous year.
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