Economy

Puerto Rico bankruptcy cases up 0.7% in May

U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Old San Juan  (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Old San Juan (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico received more than 1,000 petitions in May, when filings were up 0.7 percent in comparison to the same month in 2013, according to information provided Monday by local research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico.

When broken down, the bulk of the cases, or 596, were from individuals seeking Chapter 13 protection to reorganize their finances under the court’s supervision. Chapter 13 is a form of debt consolidation that requires petitioners to follow and stick to a payment plan. In May, there were 47 fewer cases filed in comparison to May 2013.

Next were Chapter 7 cases, of which there were 389 filed seeking total liquidation of assets. The number for May represents 55 more cases than those on record for May 2013, the research showed.

Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States and applies to both individuals and businesses.

Meanwhile, the research firm noted that last month, there were 16 Chapter 11 petitions filed, one less than what is on record for the same month last year. Chapter 11 protection is available for both businesses and individuals wishing to reorganize their finances. This type of filing is mostly sought by businesses, as they are able to continue operating as they go through the bankruptcy.

There were no Chapter 12 cases filed last month by farmers, which are the only eligible parties under this special protection.

So far this year, there have been 4,583 bankruptcy petitions filed in court, representing an increase of 65 cases year-over-year, or a 1.43 percent difference.

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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