A red flag that’ll be highlighted only afterwards as a turning point.
US bankruptcy filings by consumers rose 5.4% in January, compared to January last year, to 52,421 according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. In December, they’d already risen 4.5% from a year earlier. This was the first time that consumer bankruptcies increased back-to-back since 2010.
However, business bankruptcies began to surge in November 2015 and continued surging on a year-over-year basis in 2016, to reach a full-year total of 37,823 filings, up 26% from the prior year and the highest since 2014. Retailers and companies affiliated with the energy sector, in particular, were sinking deeper into the mire.
Throughout that time, consumer bankruptcy filings continued to decline year-over-year until November 2016. And that was the low point. Then credit stress began to exert its pressure and became apparent in the official channels, when arising number of consumers started throwing in the towel over the past two months to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court.
Total bankruptcy filings by consumers and businesses have now also risen year-over-year for two months in a row, for the first time since 2010.Continue Reading