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VOL. 129 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 18, 2014

Bankruptcy Filings Drop Below 3,000

By Bill Dries

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(Shutterstock)

For the first time since 2011, the number of Memphis-area bankruptcies filed in the second quarter dropped below 3,000.

Between April 1 and June 30, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee saw 2,959 bankruptcies in which the person or business listed a Shelby County address. That’s a 6.4 percent decrease from the 3,164 filed during the second quarter of 2013, according to The Daily News Online, memphisdailynews.com.

Of the county’s 33 ZIP codes, 38127 (Frayser), 38109 (Westwood) and 38128 (Raleigh), in that order, topped the list for total filings, which includes Chapters 7, 11 and 13. Combined, those three ZIP codes accounted for 735 bankruptcies, or 24.8 percent of the total filed for all of Shelby County.

The same three ZIP codes topped the list in the second quarter of 2013, with the highest number in Frayser, followed by Raleigh in second and Westwood in third.

For the first half of 2014, 5,995 bankruptcy filings were filed across all categories, a 3.2 percent drop from the 6,195 filed a year ago.

Chapter 13 filings, or cases involving court-ordered repayment plans, remained the largest category in the second quarter, accounting for 77.7 percent of all filings. There were 2,301 Chapter 13 filings in Shelby County for the second quarter, compared with 2,362 for the same quarter a year ago.

By ZIP code, Frayser, Raleigh and Westwood led the pack in that order, with their 640 combined Chapter 13 cases accounting for 27.8 percent of the total.

All three areas have been hit hard by the recession and the foreclosure crisis.

A year ago, the top three areas were Frayser, Oakhaven/Parkway Village (38118) and Raleigh.

Year to date, the 4,554 Chapter 13 filings were up just slightly from 4,523 in the first six months of 2013.

Chapter 7 filings, those in which the debtor’s assets are liquidated or sold off, totaled 656 for the second quarter of 2014, a 17.7 percent decline from the 798 filed in the second quarter of 2013.

By ZIP code, 38116 (Whitehaven) topped the list with 48, followed by 38125 (Southeast Shelby County) and 38134 (Bartlett), which each had 45.

The 138 cases from those three areas accounted for 21 percent of the total Chapter 7 filings for Shelby County.

Whitehaven’s place at the top of the list is unusual given its retail potential, which has been touted by backers of the effort to revitalize Elvis Presley Boulevard, the community’s main street and commercial and retail center.

Among the businesses filing for Chapter 7 in the second quarter were Leader Five Star Homes LLC, at 7480 Bakers Glenn Road in Cordova, and Tennessee Tiger Gift Shop LLC, at 531 S. Highland Ave., near the University of Memphis.

A year ago, Southeast Shelby County, Raleigh and Cordova North (38016) saw the highest number of Chapter 7 filings.

Year to date, Chapter 7 filings are at 1,430, down 13.4 percent from the 1,653 in the first six months of 2013.

The second quarter also saw two Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, those with a reorganization plan that allows an entity to remain in operation. Four Chapter 11 bankruptcies were filed in second quarter 2013.

The two filings for reorganization were Sharkey’s Gulf Grill LLC, a seafood restaurant at 6201 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis, and Worley Brothers Scrap Iron and Recycling, at 1554 Thomas St. in North Memphis.

For the first six months of 2014, there were 11 Chapter 11 filings, compared with 19 during the same period a year ago.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 67 67 10,289
MORTGAGES 107 107 13,434
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 24 24 2,668
BUILDING PERMITS 393 393 24,700
BANKRUPTCIES 60 60 9,952
BUSINESS LICENSES 16 16 3,752
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 149 149 14,706
MARRIAGE LICENSES 31 31 3,198

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