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Bankruptcies skyrocket in April, with individuals leading

Bankruptcy cases spiked year-over-year in April. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Bankruptcy cases spiked year-over-year in April. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The number of bankruptcy cases filed in Puerto Rico skyrocketed last month, when an astounding 19.5 percent more petitions for protection from creditors were filed at the local court, research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico revealed Monday.

The preliminary numbers show that 976 cases were filed in April 2016, representing a difference of 159 more cases on record year-over-year. During the first four months of the year, a total of 3,517 petitions were filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, representing a 6.8 percent jump when compared to April 2015, the data provided by the independent firm shows.

Individuals seem to be spiraling deeper into the protracted economic funk, as the 535 Chapter 13 cases filed in April reflect a 22.4 percent increase when matched up to the same month last year. A total of 1,955 cases are on record for the first four months, reflecting a 5.2 percent hike, in comparison to the same year-ago period.

Chapter 7 cases, or total liquidation of assets, stood at 415 filings in April, up 12.1 percent year-over-year. So far, 1,448 cases have been filed, representing a 3.2 percent increase when compared to the same four-month period in 2015.

Chapter 11 cases, or reorganizations, were up 160 percent in April, when 26 cases were file. Companies embargoed by the Treasury Department for failing to pay or forward taxes petitioned many of those. So far this year, 107 cases have been filed, representing a 17.5 percent increase year-over-year.

The embattled farming sector did not file for bankruptcy protection in April, but so far this year there have been seven cases filed, representing a 40 percent year-over-year increase in court activity.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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