Bankruptcy filings are at their lowest since 1985 amid Covid-19 boost
The number of bankruptcy filings in the United States has fallen to a level not seen since 1985, thanks to government interventions that kept people afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic and allowed businesses to raise funds through debt.
In a year marked by closures and periods of high unemployment, 462,309 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy in the year ended June 30, down 32% from the previous year, according to data compiled by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This is the lowest tally in a 12-month period since 1985, the administrative office said.
Personal bankruptcy filings fell 33% to around 444,000, while business deposits fell 17% to around 22,500.
The pace of bankruptcy filings defied predictions at the start of the pandemic by economists and experts who expected an avalanche of bankruptcy filings by households and businesses. The figures show that stimulus measures and government moratoria on foreclosures and evictions are helping to limit personal bankruptcies, economists say.
Corporate failures have also been more subdued than expected, in large part thanks to interventions by the Federal Reserve that have allowed companies such as AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and Boeing Co. to raise a lot of money through the debt. After a peak in bankruptcies in the spring of 2020 that swept through JC Penney & Co. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc., business bankruptcies calmed down in the second half of last year.