Bankruptcy Filing Trends for First Quarter 2013

Bankruptcy Filing Trends for First Quarter 2013

Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Decline in 2013

Bankruptcy filings continue to fall in 2013 as the economy slowly recovers.

Bankruptcy filings continue to fall in 2013 as the economy slowly recovers. States in dark shades have higher per capita filings. Source:

Since 2010, bankruptcy rates have continued to decline as the economy has slowly improved. This trend has continued in 2013 as bankruptcy filings continue to fall.


First quarter bankruptcy filings fell to 261,000 nationwide, representing a 16% decrease from first quarter 2012 and a 30% decrease from first quarter 2010.


Here are some speculations of what is to come in 2013:

  • The economy shows mixed signals of what it will do next, but it appears to be improving slightly, so bankruptcy filings will likely decrease slightly during 2013.
  • Bankruptcy filings remain at high levels, so bankruptcy remains a profitable area of law to practice in 2013.
  • Since it has been 8 years since 2005 when a record number of individuals filed Chapter 7, many individuals who were ineligible for Chapter 7 may start to consider filing Chapter 7 again if they are facing debt problems.
  • Some attorneys may decide to focus less on bankruptcy due to decreasing demand, which may make the market less competitive overall.

How can you adapt your strategy to cope with changing demand?

  • Monitor your competitors. See if they decrease their marketing efforts.
  • Consider diversifying the type of law your practice. If bankruptcy filings are declining in your area, consider adding a new type of law (family law, immigration, etc) to complement your bankruptcy services and insure you from potentially decreasing bankruptcy demand in 2013.
  • Monitor bankruptcy filings in your area. Some areas are facing larger decreases in demand than others. Your area may not be hit as hard as other areas in the country.
  • Generally speaking, Chapter 7 filings fluctuate much more than do Chapter 13 filings, so consider marketing more to the market in your area that needs Chapter 13 help.


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