man looking over bankruptcy statement

Fewer Bankruptcies Filed In Wisconsin During 2022

Many Wisconsin families and businesses are under financial stress from inflation, rising interest rates, and the pandemic, but that does not mean that more Badgers are filing for bankruptcy. The Hanson & Payne team has noticed this here in Milwaukee, but now we have the data to back up our observation. 

Diving Into the Data

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has released its data on the number of bankruptcies filed in 2022, and Wisconsin saw a significant drop in cases. 

Across the state of Wisconsin, 7,898 bankruptcy cases were filed from January to December 2022. This is a 14.8% drop from 2021, when 9,279 bankruptcy cases were filed. 

131 of these cases were business bankruptcies, the rest were non-business bankruptcies, including personal bankruptcies and farm bankruptcies.

What’s Going on in the Milwaukee Area

Milwaukee County, as usual, led the state in the number of bankruptcies filed by county. There were 2,975 bankruptcy cases filed here over the past year. That’s 37.7% of the cases filed across the whole state. 

19 of the Milwaukee County cases were business-related, while 2,956 were filed by people attempting to clear personal debt. 

Other counties in the Milwaukee area also saw a significant number of cases filed in 2022:

Racine – 311 cases

Ozaukee – 74 cases

Waukesha – 364 cases

Sheboygan – 133 cases

That means as a region, the Milwaukee area had 3,857 or 41.6% of the state’s 9,279 bankruptcies.

Doing Better Than Average 

The data suggests Wisconsinites are doing a bit better than others across the country. While cases fell 14.8% here, bankruptcy filings only fell 6.3% nationwide. 

This continues the trend of cases dropping each year since 2010. Here is the data from the last five years:

YearBusiness BankruptciesNon-Business Bankruptcies Total Bankruptcies

While bankruptcies are falling overall, 2022 did see an increase in the number of Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases filed. “Chapter 11, which provides for reorganization, usually involving a corporation, increased 1.7 percent, to 4,918, compared with 4,836 in the previous year. Chapter 13 filings increased 30.9 percent, from 120,002 to 157,087 in the year ending Dec. 31, 2022. This chapter of the Bankruptcy Code provides for adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income.”

Here is a table of the total cases filed nationwide by chapter of the bankruptcy code over the past five years: 


Milwaukee Bankruptcy Attorneys You Can Trust

The Hanson & Payne team will continue to monitor bankruptcy trends across the country and in the Milwaukee area to ensure we can serve our clients well. 

We are a full-service bankruptcy law firm you can trust to handle your case with care. Please contact our experienced team of attorneys to schedule a meeting if you are in need of advice about bankruptcy, or representation in a pending case.