Q315 Business Bankruptcies Remain Flat | Oil & Gas/Mining Bankruptcies Dominate Public Count


The number of corporate bankruptcies remained steady in Q3 2015 marking the 4th straight quarter where the bankruptcy numbers remained flat and remarkably consistent. Though the number of bankruptcies 2015 YTD is down 16% compared to 2014, the seven-year downward spiral in the number of corporate bankruptcies has indeed leveled off.

There were 22,680 corporate bankruptcy filings in the first three quarters of 2015. This number compares to 26,992 through Q3 in 2014, 34,520 in 2013, 44,858 in 2012 and 72,287 filings for the same time period in 2009. We are averaging 120 filings per business day, and March has been the busiest filing month so far this year.

% Decline Q314 to Q315

% Decline Q313 to Q314 % Decline Q312 to Q313 % Decline Q311 to Q312 % Decline Q310 to Q311 % Decline Q309 to Q310
15.76% 24.11% 20.53% 23.81% 22.17%


For the first time in several quarters, New York has surpassed California as the state that contributes the largest percentage of overall bankruptcies, generating 14.53% in Q3 2015. Historically New York has generated between 8 and 9%. The state of Virginia also experienced a large jump in their percentage of overall bankruptcies moving from generating 1.76% of all bankruptcies in Q1 2015 to 7.59% in Q3. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court case activity reflects the increased filings in states of New York and Virginia with the NY-Southern and Virginia-Eastern coming 1st and 2nd in overall bankruptcy percentage for Q3 2015. The NY-Southern and Virginia-Eastern Districts also experienced the largest percentage growth in case load compared to the same period in 2014.

The Service industry, our economy’s biggest employer, generated the largest percentage of overall bankruptcies in Q3 2015 with 34.78%. The Service industry’s 2015 YTD bankruptcy figure of 35.95% is down 10% from the same time period in 2013 reflecting the relative health of this industry sector compared to other sectors like Manufacturing and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate—whose bankruptcy percentage figures have grown over the last year or so. The Q3 2015 figures also reflect the recent surge in Mining and Energy–related bankruptcies. The Mining sector typically generates 1 to 2% of overall bankruptcies, but in Q3 2015 it generated 10%. Clearly this sector is feeling the effects of the low fuel and natural oil prices.

The number of public company filings, which make up a very small part of the overall business bankruptcy filing numbers, has been increasing in 2015. The number of 2015 YTD public-company filings is up 39% compared to last year. Though the 2015 number is up compared to 2014, it is fairly consistent with YTD public company filing numbers from 2011, 2012 and 2013 but the amount of assets going into bankruptcy in 2015 is the highest it has been at this point in the year since 2009. The Mining and Oil & Gas sectors are the largest contributors to the increase—generating 25% of the overall public company bankruptcies YTD.

Download the free report for more bankruptcy analysis and a full data breakdown for 3Q15 bankruptcy activity.