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Puerto Rico bankruptcy filings -20% YOY in December

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

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

Bankruptcy filings were down 20 percent year-over-year in December, when a total of 839 cases were filed, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico.

When compared to December 2013, the results showed there were 205 fewer cases filed last month.

For the 12 months ended in December, a total of 10,716 cases were submitted before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, representing a 3 percent year-over-year drop. A total of 315 fewer cases were filed in 2014, in comparison to the prior year, the research firm revealed.

When broken down by categories, the December results conclude that all four types of filings showed double-digit drops.

Chapter 7 filings, or those filed by individuals or corporations seeking total liquidation of assets, were down 26 percent in December, with 283 cases filed. In 2014, a total of 4,079 filings were submitted in court, representing a 4 percent cumulative year-over-year increase, with 146 more cases on file.

Chapter 13 cases, or those that allow individuals to undergo a financial reorganization supervised by a federal bankruptcy court, were down 15 percent in December, when 548 cases were filed. A total of 6,423 people sought the court’s protection through the 12-month period, representing a 6 percent year-over-year drop. A total of 446 fewer cases were filed in 2014.

Meanwhile, Chapter 11 filings — a type of legal protection available to businesses and individuals looking to reorganize their finances and start over — totaled 7 for the month, down 50 percent when compared to the same month in 2013. For the year, 191 cases were filed, representing a 7 percent drop. A total of 15 fewer cases were filed in 2014 under that category.

Finally, a single Chapter 12 filing, or those reserved exclusively for farmers and agricultural operations, was submitted month, representing a 20 percent drop when compared to December 2013. Cumulatively, those types of cases reflected no change over the 12-month period, with a total of 23 cases filed in 2014.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 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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