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Bankruptcy filings in Puerto Rico up 41% Y-O-Y in September

The total number of new cases from individuals and businesses seeking protection from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Puerto Rico increased by 41% in September, with 403 cases filed, compared to the same month last year.

There were 285 cases filed in September 2022, according to a report released by research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico.

In the first nine months of this year, 3,173 cases were filed, up 9.1% from the 2,908 cases on record for the same period in 2022.

The bulk of the current filings so far this year, 2,138, were from individuals seeking Chapter 13 protection, which allows them to propose a debt reorganization plan under the bankruptcy court’s supervision. That number is up 16.3% compared to the 1,838 cases filed in the same year-ago period.

Chapter 7 filings, which involve a total liquidation of assets for the petitioner, totaled 979 from January through September of this year, a 3.9% drop from the 1,019 petitions filed in the same period in 2022.

As for Chapter 11 cases, which allow businesses to reorganize their finances under court supervision, reached 52 in the current period, up 24% from the 42 cases from January to September 2022.

There were four Chapter 12 filings, a category reserved for farmers and agricultural businesses, this year. That is 55.6% lower than the nine petitions filed in the same period in 2022.

Corporate bankruptcy petitions up 9%
Meanwhile, bankruptcy protection petitions from the island’s businesses were up 9% through September, with 206 cases filed, compared to the 189 on record from January to September 2022.

When broken down, the majority, 15 filings, were from restaurants, which reported a combined debt of nearly $3 million, according to Boletín de Puerto Rico. The total number of cases filed was up 12.5% when compared year-over-year.

Medical doctors came in second with seven petitions filed, representing $6.5 million in reported debt. That is 5.8% more petitions filed versus the same nine-month period last year. But the largest petition came from the hospital sector with the widely covered HIMA Group filing, which reported $472 million in debt.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 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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