Going Up: Bankruptcy Dollar Amounts Will Increase On April 1, 2013

It hasn’t gotten much publicity yet, but certain dollar amounts in the Bankruptcy Code will be increased for new cases filed on or after April 1, 2013. Follow this link for a chart listing all of the changes on this Federal Register page, which printed this month’s official notice from the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Among the most meaningful increases for Chapter 11 and other business bankruptcy cases:

  • The total amount of claims required to file an involuntary petition rises to $15,325 from $14,425;
  • The employee compensation and benefit plan contribution priorities under Sections 507(a)(4) and 507(a)(5) both increase to $12,475 from $11,725;
  • The consumer deposit priority under Section 507(a)(7) rises to $2,775 from $2,600;
  • The dollar amount in the bankruptcy venue provision, 28 U.S.C. Section 1409(b), which requires that actions to recover for non-consumer, non-insider debt be brought against defendants in the district in which they reside, has increased to $12,475 from $11,725;
  • The minimum amount required to bring a preference claim against a defendant in a non-consumer debtor case, specified in Section 547(c)(9), rises from $6,225 from $5,475; and
  • The total debt amount in the definition of small business debtor in Section 101(51D) will rise to $2,490,925.

Other adjustments will affect consumers more than business debtors. For example, the debt limit for an individual to be able to qualify to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case will rise to $1,149,525 of secured debt, and certain exemption amounts will also rise.

Although the changes aren’t substantial, be sure to keep them in mind when assessing cases filed after April 1st.