Businesses and consumers filing bankruptcies declined 14 percent in the first half of 2012. At this pace, bankruptcy filings could end the year with the lowest level of filings since before the 2008 financial crisis. There were 632,130 new bankruptcy filings in the first six months of 2012, comprised of 30,946 business and 601,184 consumers filing for protection. One of the main explanations for this decline is the Federal Reserve’s actions to keep interest rates at historical lows. Companies and consumers have also cut costs, making them more efficient.
However, the positive trend has not prevented some large bankruptcy filings from some household names this year, including Eastman Kodak, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Inc., and Hostess Brands Inc. In fact, Hostess Brands is among the companies described in a prior post, who have the distinction of having filed for bankruptcy more than once.