The number of bankruptcies filed in Southern Arizona rose slightly in 2019, while statewide filings rose 3.2%, according to figures from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
A total of 3,925 bankruptcy petitions of all types were filed in the court’s Tucson office last year, up 23 or 0.6% from 2018.
After surging in the wake of the Great Recession in 2009 and 2010, Southern Arizona annual bankruptcy filings dropped steadily before rising by nearly 9% in 2017 and rising another 4.3% last year.
Besides bankruptcy filings for debtors in Pima County, the Tucson office processes petitions from filers in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.
Bankruptcy filings in the Phoenix office rose 4.2% last year, to 11,575, while filings received by the court’s Yuma office rose 2.1%, the court said.
The Phoenix office handles filings for debtors in Maricopa, Apache, Coconino, Gila, Navajo and Apache counties, while the Yuma office handles Yuma, La Paz and Mohave counties.
Filings under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, which shields business debtors from legal action while they work out plans to repay creditors, remained flat in Tucson last year compared with 2018, at 24 filings. Chapter 11 filings rose 5.7% in Phoenix and 5.2% statewide.
Meanwhile, the number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases — which involve liquidating assets to pay creditors — rose 1.2% in Tucson, 4% in Phoenix and 3% statewide.
Bankruptcy petitions filed under Chapter 13, which allow wage-earners to work out plans to pay creditors, fell 1.2% in the Tucson office but rose 4.7% in Phoenix and 3.9% statewide.
While nationwide statistics were not yet available from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, data compiled by the American Bankruptcy Institute show overall U.S. bankruptcy filings were up fractionally in 2019, at about 757,500 filings.