closeup of someone filing out a bankruptcy petition
(Credit: courtneyk / Getty Images)

Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings trended upward in the first quarter, according to the recently published Polsinelli-TrBK Distress Indices Report.

The Chapter 11 Index bump was modest, increasing six points since the previous quarter. Compared with the same period one year ago, the index has increased more than 10 points. Comparing the number with what industry experts consider the benchmark period of the fourth quarter of 2010, the index is down almost 60 points.

“Chapter 11 trends remain difficult to predict, and it appears to be increasing slowly but gradually quarter by quarter,” the authors noted.

The Health Care Index decreased approximately seven points from the previous quarter. Compared with the same period a year ago, the index has decreased by 103 points. It is up more than 18 points over the fourth quarter of 2010.

The data show that healthcare services filings measured in the Polsinelli|TrBK Health Care Services Distress Research Index represented 3.32% of all distress filings on a rolling four-quarter basis.

Overall, the Chapter 11 Index showed the greatest percentage of filings occurring in the southeast region of the United States at 40.99%. In the middle demographic, the southwest region had 11.98%, followed by the southern district of New York at 11.75% and the Northeast region of the country at 11.04%. The Midwest and Northeast region accounted for 4.77% and 1.36% of the filings, respectively. The noncontinental states and territories had the least percentage of filings, at 0.84%. 

The Indices are published quarterly, generally within 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter, and are overseen by an Index Advisory Committee consisting of Jeremy Johnson (Polsinelli), Robert Dempsey (Polsinelli), Richard Romero (Coker Group, LLC), Matthew S. Shotwell, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University) and a representative from

Chapter 11 Distress Research Index

“Similar to the Chapter 11 Distress Research Index, case filings measured in the Real Estate Distress Research Index have experienced significant volatility quarter on quarter,” the authors wrote.

Since the benchmark period of the fourth quarter of 2010, filing numbers declined 23 times compared with the prior quarter and climbed 26 times, according to the data. 

Here, the Northeast region led the percentage of filings at 31.43%, followed by the Southeast region at 27.76% and the Southwest at 21.22%. The Midwest accounted for 8.57% of the filings, and the Northwest made up 4.08%. The noncontinental states and territories had the smallest percentage of filings, at 2.86%.