U.S. bankruptcy filings reached 52,522 in January, 11% lower than 59,092 filings in January 2015, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, which used data from Epiq Systems Inc.

There were an average of 1,694 total daily filings January, also down 11% from the 1,906 daily average in January last year. Consumer filings last month totaled 49,720, a 12% drop from 56,611 consumer filings in January 2015.

"Though total and consumer filings continue to drop, more debt-burdened businesses are turning to the financial fresh start of bankruptcy," said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. "However, total commercial filings in January 2016 jumped to 2,802, representing a 12% increase from the 2,481 business filings recorded in January 2015." There were 492 commercial chapter 11 filings in January 2016, which represents a 6% decrease compared to the January 2015 total of 523. Total bankruptcy filings also dropped on a monthly basis. The filings in January declined 2% compared to the 53,829 total filings recorded in December, according to the ABI news release. There were 49,720 noncommercial filings in January, down 3% from the 51,169 noncommercial filings in December last year.  The states with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings per 1,000 population) in January were: Tennessee (4.82); Alabama (4.35); Georgia (4.26); Illinois (3.48) and Delaware (3.23). The average U.S. per capita bankruptcy filing rate in January was 2.02, compared to 2.63 in December. 

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