Economy

P.R. bankruptcies -4% in Jan., personal cases lead

The majority of commercial cases filed in January were by individuals. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) The majority of commercial cases filed in January were by individuals. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The downward spiral that Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy filings had been on in recent months came to an end in January, when total cases submitted at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 706, were down 4 percent, according to statistics released Friday by analyst firm Boletín de Puerto Rico.

The report shows that Chapter 13 personal reorganization cases prevailed, with more than half of the cases on file for January, or 421, belonging to that category. A year-over-year comparison shows that Chapter 13 cases were down 6 percent.

Meanwhile, Chapter 7 total liquidation cases reached 267 for the month, representing a 1 percent year-over-year increase, the report shows.

Next came Chapter 11 reorganization filings, with 18 cases on record in January, which is down 28 percent when compared to January 2012.

In the last category, Chapter 12 — a category reserved for agricultural businesses — there were no cases filed in January.

When broken down by types of businesses seeking the court’s protection against creditors in January were real estate brokers (2), construction companies (2), restaurants (5), construction contractors (5), and clinical laboratories (2).

In terms of the debt associated with January filings, Boletín de Puerto Rico pegged the total at $179.9 million, up 29 percent from the same month a year ago. Of that debt, $89.9 million was secured; $88.5 million was unsecured; $1.4 million was prioritized debt; and $4,076 was unspecified.

The $179.9 million is split between $100.5 million for businesses and about $79.3 million racked up by individuals.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 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 areas of the economy.

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