Yesterday the Administrative Office for the U.S. Courts released a report entitled Growth in Bankruptcy Filings Slows in Calendar Year 2010. At first glance, one might be lead to believe that meant that bankruptcy filings had gone down in 2010. While this would be the desired political result of a government that wants people to think the economy is improving, it would not be an accurate way to understand the report.
Look at the title again. The truth of the report is there, it is just phrased in a way that makes it sound better. Bankruptcy filings are not down, nor are they slowing down. In fact, they increased yet again over last year’s high, making 2010 another record-breaking year in bankruptcy filings.
The only thing that decreased is the rate at which the number of bankruptcy filings are going up. Last year, bankruptcy filings increased by an additional 8 percent. This is a significant jump in the number of bankruptcy filings, just not as big a jump in the number of bankruptcy filings as was seen in 2009. Thus, the happy-sounding title of the report is both accurate and misleading at the same time.
To see a summary of the data and what the facts of the report really say, see Bankruptcy Filings Continued to Rise in 2010.
- Bankruptcy Filings Continued to Rise in 2010 (law.about.com)
- Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (marketwatch.com)
- Personal Bankruptcies Declined in January (blogs.wsj.com)
- Dem rep. files for bankruptcy (politico.com)
- Pension expert says U.S. state bankruptcy ‘no panacea’ (reuters.com)