Local bankruptcy filings dive

Overall cases down 8% from previous year; lowest since ’06


Bankruptcy filings in northwest Ohio last year dropped to their lowest level since 2006, with Chapter 7 liquidation cases falling 8 percent.

Overall filings for the 21-county region handled by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Toledo totaled 5,227 cases in 2013, an 8 percent decrease over 2012.

That was the lowest total since 2006 when there were just 3,837 cases filed following changes in 2005 to the bankruptcy code that made filing harder and more costly.

By contrast, there were 16,885 cases filed in 2005, the highest year on record for cases filed, during which debtors flocked to the court house to file for bankruptcy before the law changed in October of that year.

Annual filings have been on a steady decrease since 2009, falling to 5,711 in 2012, and last year did not reverse the downward trend. Every month save two — January and May — were down from the same month a year earlier. In March, filings fell 23 percent from 2012.

For December, there were 292 cases filed, a drop of 12 percent from the same month a year earlier and the fewest number of cases filed during any month since 2006.

The two most common types of cases, Chapter 7 liquidation and Chapter 13 repayment, totaled 4,762 cases filed and 448 cases filed, respectively.

Chapter 7 cases fell 8 percent for the year while Chapter 13 cases were down 18 percent, according to the Toledo court.

In addition, there were just 11 filings for Chapter 11 reorganization, the same number as in 2012.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.