Industry Update: Bankruptcy Filings Compared from Jan-Aug 2012 and 2013

Industry Update: Bankruptcy Filings Compared from Jan-Aug 2012 and 2013

A quick look at bankruptcy industry demand in 2013

We all know that the demand for bankruptcy services fluctuates from month to month and from year to year. Taking a quick look at bankruptcy filing data from January-August 2012 and 2013 reveals the current (and future) state of the industry.

Bankruptcy Filings in 2012 and 2013

Bankruptcy Filings in 2012 and 2013

What can we learn from this year-to-year comparison?

  1. Bankruptcy demand is falling nationwide. In 2013, bankruptcy demand dropped on a month-to-month basis from 10-15% each month from 2012 levels. This means that attorneys are competing for a smaller market in terms of filings.
  2. Demand for bankruptcy remains relatively high. Demand for bankruptcy services is still much higher than it was before the 2008 financial crisis sent the U.S. into a downward economic spiral.
  3. Demand will likely continue to fall slightly. Since 2010, bankruptcy filings have consistently fallen on a year-to-year basis as the economy has shown signs of improvement. Expect demand to fall another 10-15% for all of 2013 from 2012 levels.
  4. Demand will remain solid as the economy stagnates. With the economy trudging along with lackluster job growth and unemployment numbers, it seems that there will not be a large plunge in bankruptcy filings anytime soon. While demand may continue to decline, it will likely not drop dramatically unless the economy recovers quickly, which is unlikely.

What can you do as an attorney to adapt to this changing demand?

  1. Capture greater market share. With a slowly shrinking demand for bankruptcies, you need to fine tune your marketing strategies and outperform rival law firms in your area to find customers.
  2. Diversify your legal focus. If your practice focuses 100% on bankruptcy, you may consider branching out into other legal areas to compliment your bankruptcy practice. This will insure you and protect you against falling demand for bankruptcy. As bankruptcies rise and fall, you can adjust your focus towards bankruptcy or other areas to make sure you take advantage of bankruptcy increases and avoid the pitfalls of bankruptcy decreases.

 

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