U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings surge in May

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks on an empty street amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

(Reuters) - U.S. commercial bankruptcy filings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code jumped in May by 48% from year earlier, marking an initial wave of insolvencies arising from the business disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Bankruptcy Institute said on Thursday.

Chapter 11 filings rose 28% in May from April, ABI said, citing data from Epiq Systems, including filings by major retail chains such as J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus. Total U.S. bankruptcy filings, meanwhile, fell 42% in May from year earlier, with consumer filings down 43%, ABI said.

Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama