There are 135,913 consumer bankruptcy filings in October 2009 represented a 27.9 percent increase over October 2009 monthly total of 106,266, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The October 2009 consumer filings represented an 8.9 percent increase from the September 2009 total of 124,790. Chapter 13 filings constituted 28.5 percent of all consumer cases in October, a slight increase from the September rate.
ABI forecasts that total bankruptcies this year will exceed 1.4 million, the highest number since 2005.
*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to creditors of the debtor's available non-exempt property. Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh financial start.
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going concern or reorganize an individual's finances through a court-approved reorganization plan.
Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is typically used to budget some of the debtor's future earnings under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in part.