Bankruptcy filings have started to increase this year and the number of new cases filed in March jumped significantly from February, but remain below last year's numbers, according to data released on Tuesday by legal research firm Epiq. The total number of new commercial and consumer bankruptcies filed in March grew 33.5% over the month prior, according to Epiq, with consumer filings increasing by 34% and commercial cases jumping by 26%. Those figures build on the slight upward trend that began in February, which brought 3% more new bankruptcies than January, according to Epiq’s data. “Amid rising interest rates, growing inflation concerns, worker shortages and supply chain challenges, access to bankruptcy is imperative for struggling consumers and businesses,” says Amy Quackenboss, Executive Director of the American Bankruptcy Institute. This, combined with the scheduled discontinuation of student debt forbearance on August 31, will likely increase financial hardship and delinquency rates.
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