Economy

Doctors, restaurants lead Jan.-June bankruptcy petitions

Seventeen medical doctors filed for bankruptcy protection, reporting more than $23.5 million in combined debt.

During the first six months of the year, 17 medical doctors filed for bankruptcy protection, reporting more than $23.5 million in combined debt to the court, a report by research firm Boletín de Puerto Rico confirmed.

The data shows that between January and June of this year, 22 restaurants also sought the court’s protection, reporting more than $5.8 million in debt. Rounding out the top three types of businesses on a list of 20 categories were cafeterias, with 14 of them seeking relief from their $1.5 million in combined debt.

So far this year, a total of 244 corporate filings were submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Puerto Rico, which represented a 46 percent drop from the 448 cases that were filed from January to June last year, the study showed.

However, 2016’s total reflected a 27 percent increase from the 353 commercial petitions that were filed during the same six-month period in 2015.

The list of the top 20 commercial filings by large businesses also includes: 12 construction firms, with $4.1 million in debt; seven farming operations carrying $7.2 million in debt; and, seven elderly homes, with $9.5 million in debt.

Boletín de Puerto Rico’s breakdown of businesses is broad, ranging from tire retailers to engineers to liquor stores. One of the largest petitions on file from a private company came in June from Better Roads Asphalt Corp., which owes more than $195 million to creditors.

Four dairy farms sought the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s protection, with nearly $18 million in debt.

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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