Bankruptcy filings in the Fresno area have been decreasing at a rate of approximately 25% per year over the last 3 years and that trend does not appear to be letting up. Total Fresno bankruptcy filings for the 12 months ending January 31, 2011 amounted to 15,229. Total Fresno bankruptcy filings for the next year amounted to 13,718, a drop of 9.9%. Total Fresno bankruptcy filings for 12 months ending January 31, 2013 amounted to 9,717, a drop of 29.2% over the previous year. And total Fresno bankruptcy filings for the 12 months ending January 31, 2014 amounted to 7,946, a drop of 18.2%. This represents a precipitous 47.8% drop in Fresno bankruptcy filings over a four year period.
Some might suggest that this shows the economy is strengthening. But bankruptcy filings often follow a cyclical trend that is not necessarily related to the state of the overall economy. For example, the economy seemed relatively healthy in 2003; yet, there were 11,652 Fresno bankruptcy filings that year, 20% more than the most recent filings (in spite of significant population growth). And sometimes outside events result in a significant change. For example, the 2005 Bankruptcy law change resulted in 12,730 Fresno bankruptcy filings in 2005 and only 2,396 cases the next year.