Small Business

U.S. New Business Applications Hit Two-Year High in June

Applications to start new U.S. businesses surged to the highest level in two years in June, despite high interest rates and uncertain economic outlook, according to a Commerce Department report, Reuters reported. Business applications increased 6.2% in June compared with May with a seasonally adjusted 465,906 new applications. Filings from applicants that have a high likelihood of creating a payroll and adding jobs to the economy, such as those from existing corporate entities or those indicating they are already hiring, rose 6.0% to 149,536 new applications. The data is collected from business applications for tax identification numbers. Start-up activity flourished during the coronavirus pandemic with the help of historic stimulus money from the federal government and ultra-low interest rates, hitting a record high in July 2020 and remaining well above pre-pandemic levels since then. They slowed somewhat last year as the Federal Reserve kicked off aggressive interest rate hikes to lower inflation, but have been climbing again this year. June's resurgence emphasizes growing optimism among small businesses inspired by the Fed's recent pause in rate hikes, as well as the growing expectation that the central bank's aggressive rate hiking strategy is nearing an end. The report's forward-looking business formation projections also improved after two months of declines. The Census Bureau estimated that 32,148 new business startups with payroll tax liabilities will actually form within four quarters of application, a 4% increase compared to estimates from May. (Subscription required.)
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Ninth Circuit BAP Holds that Debts of Corporate Sub V Debtors Can’t Be Nondischargeable

Disputing the Fourth Circuit line by line and raising the possibility of a circuit split, the BAP and six bankruptcy courts have held that there’s no such thing as nondischargeability for corporate Sub V debtors.
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Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increased 68 Percent in the First Half of 2023

 

Commercial Chapter 11 Filings Increased 68 Percent in the First Half of 2023

Individual Chapter 13 Filings Increased by 23 Percent

 

July 03, 2023 The 2,973 total commercial chapter 11 bankruptcies filed during the first six months of 2023 represented a 68 percent increase over the 1,766 filed during the same period in 2022, according to data provided by Epiq Bankruptcy, the leading provider of U.S. bankruptcy filing data. Individual chapter 13 filings increased by 23 percent during the same period.

Overall commercial filings registered 12,107 for the first half of 2023, representing an 18 percent increase from the commercial filing total of 10,258 for the first half of 2022. Small business filings, captured as subchapter V elections within chapter 11, totaled 814 in the first six months of 2023, a 55 percent increase from the 525 elections during the same period in 2022.

Overall commercial filings increased 12 percent in June 2023, as the 2,123 filings were up from the 1,891 commercial filings registered in June 2022. The 404 commercial chapter 11 filings in June represented a 9 percent increase from the 371 filings in June 2022. Total subchapter V elections within chapter 11, experienced a 111 percent increase from 94 in June 2022 to 198 in June 2023.

"The increase in commercial and individual bankruptcy filings during the first half of 2023 underscores the economic challenges faced by businesses and individuals,” said Gregg Morin, Vice President of Business Development and Revenue at Epiq Bankruptcy. “Our objective is to provide bankruptcy professionals with timely and accurate data necessary for analyzing stakeholder volumes and trends for making informed business decisions."

Total bankruptcy filings were 217,420 during the first six months of 2023, a 17 percent increase from the 185,352 total filings during the same period a year ago. Total individual filings also registered a 17 percent increase, as the 205,313 filings during the first half of 2023 were up from the 175,094 filings during the first six months of 2022. The 85,390 individual chapter 13 filings in the first half of 2023 represent a 23 percent increase over the 69,367 filings during the same period in 2022.

All chapters increased in June 2023 compared to June 2022, with 37,700 total bankruptcy filings representing an increase of 17 percent from the 32,198 filed in 2022. Total commercial filings were up 12 percent from 1,891. Total Individuals were up 18 percent from 30,307.

“The growth in filings is reflective of more families and businesses facing surging debt loads due to rising interest rates, inflation, and increased borrowing costs,” said ABI Executive Director Amy Quackenboss. “Bankruptcy provides a shield to the economic challenges being experienced by financially struggling individuals and companies.”

The substantial year-over-year increase in subchapter V elections reflects statutory developments that took place last year. The Bankruptcy Threshold Adjustment and Technical Corrections Act was quickly enacted in June 2022 to restore the debt eligibility limit for small businesses back to $7.5 million while also increasing the debt limit for individual chapter 13 filings to $2.75 million and removing the distinction between secured and unsecured debt for that calculation. The increased eligibility limits for both Subchapter V and Chapter 13 were currently set to sunset on June 21, 2024. ABI formed the Subchapter V Task Force to study small business reorganization and make recommendations in a report to be released in April 2024.

Epiq and ABI will host an abiLIVE webinar at 2 p.m. ET July 12 featuring experts providing insights on 2023 filing trends. Deirdre O’Connor, Managing Director for Corporate Restructuring at Epiq, will serve as the moderator with speakers including Morin, ABI President-Elect Chris Ward of Polsinelli and ABI's Ed Flynn. Click here for complimentary registration.

ABI has partnered with Epiq Bankruptcy to provide the most current bankruptcy filing data for analysts, researchers, and members of the news media. Epiq Bankruptcy is the leading provider of data, technology and services for companies operating in the business of bankruptcy. Its Bankruptcy Analytics subscription service provides on-demand access to the industry’s most dynamic bankruptcy data, updated daily. Learn more at https://bankruptcy.epiqglobal.com/analytics.

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About Epiq

Epiq, a global technology-enabled services leader to the legal industry and corporations, takes on large-scale, increasingly complex tasks for corporate counsel, law firms, and business professionals with efficiency, clarity, and confidence. Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations, class action, and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. Epiq subject-matter experts and technologies create efficiency through expertise and deliver confidence to high-performing clients around the world. Learn more at www.epiqglobal.com.

About ABI 

ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes nearly 10,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit www.abi.org. For additional conference information, visit http://www.abi.org/calendar-of-events.

Eligibility for Subchapter V Is Liberal, but Not Wide Open

Courts are split on whether the debt providing eligibility for Sub V must have arisen from a business that was active on the filing date.

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