U.S. bankruptcy filings totaled 629,570 in the first nine months of the year, an 11% decrease from the 705,728 total filings during the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. 

The 607,182 total noncommercial filings through three quarters of the year represented an 11% drop from the noncommercial total of 678,804 through the first three quarters of 2014, according to the ABI, which used data provided by Epiq Systems Inc. 

The ABI reports that high filing costs are influencing households and businesses in choosing whether to file for bankruptcy. 

"The new normal of persistent low interest rates and high filing costs continue to steer distressed households and businesses away from the financial relief of bankruptcy," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "Filings remain on track for the second-lowest total since changes to the bankruptcy law were implemented 10 years ago."

Total commercial filings in the first nine months of the year were 22,388, representing a 17% drop from the 26,924 filings during the same period in 2014. Chapter 11 filings fell just 1% in the first nine months of the year, to 4,091 filings compared to 4,142 filings in the first nine months of 2014, according to the ABI.The ABI also reports that the 67,116 total bankruptcy filings in September is an 8.5% decrease compared to the 73,352 filings in September a year ago. The 64,920 total noncommercial filings for September also represented an 8% drop from September 2014’s noncommercial filing total of 70,699.

Total commercial filings for September were 2,196, representing a 17% decrease from the 2,653 filings during the same period in 2014.  

The average nationwide per capita bankruptcy filing rate for the first nine calendar months of this year fell slightly to 2.70 (total filings per 1,000 population) from the 2.71 rate for the first eight months of the year. The average daily filing total in September was 2,237, an 8.5% decrease from the 2,445 total daily filings registered in September 2014. 

States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) through the first nine months of 2015 were: Tennessee (5.81); Alabama (5.41); Georgia (5.08); Illinois (4.43); and Utah (4.41.)

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