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Puerto Rico bankruptcy filings -31% year-over-year in October

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Puerto Rico saw a whopping 31% drop in activity in October, when 419 cases were filed, in comparison to the 762 cases filed for the same month last year.

During the first 10 months of the year, filings dropped by 32.7% to 4,342 cases, when compared to the 6,452 petitions on record for the same period in 2019, according to research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico, which collects and analyzes court data.

The report showed that all four bankruptcy protection filing categories showed significant drops. The firm broke down the number of petitions filed on a weekly basis during October as part of its analysis of filings since March, when COVID-19-related restrictions went into effect.

The detail shows that the bulk of the petitions, or 130 cases, were filed during the last week of the month, from Oct. 28-31. That is the second highest number of petitions filed in a single week since May 25-31, when 157 petitions were filed, the report shows.

Through October, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had received 1,935 Chapter 7 cases seeking total liquidation, representing a 20.5% drop versus the same period in 2019, when 2,435 petitions had accrued. This segment represented 44.6% of all bankruptcy filings on record for January through October, the analysis firm confirmed.

There are 26 Chapter 11 filings on record through October from Puerto Rico businesses that have sought to reorganize their finances through this type of protection. This figure is 65.8% below the 76 petitions filed during the same period in 2019, according to Boletín de Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, individuals looking to reorganize their finances through the Chapter 13 category pushed the total to 2,377 cases during the first 10 months of the year. The total was 39.5% under the same period in 2019, when 3,929 filings were submitted seeking this type of protection.

Finally, four farming operations filed for Chapter 12 protection through October, using a category that is reserved exclusively for troubled agriculture businesses. A total of 12 such cases are on record for the first 10 months of last year, which means this year’s filings are 66.7% below 2019’s cumulative total.

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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