News / Economy

US Business Bankruptcies Dropped 24 Percent in 2013

Reuters
Business bankruptcy filings in the United States dropped 24 percent in 2013 to their lowest level since at least 2006, according to a report on Monday.
 
Overall, bankruptcies by businesses and individuals combined fell 13 percent, said the report, released by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
 
Bankruptcy filings by businesses and individuals spiked as the United States entered recession in 2007. The numbers have fallen steadily in recent years as the U.S. Federal Reserve has kept borrowing costs low.
 
Monday's report, which was compiled for the ABI by bankruptcy claims processor Epiq Systems Inc, said 44,111 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2013, down from 57,964 in 2012. Epiq's data goes back to 2007.
 
Total filings by businesses and individuals fell to 1.03 million, the report said, from 1.19 million in 2012. The number of filings fell in every state but rose by 7 percent in Puerto Rico, which has been hit by a prolonged recession.
 
The average number of filings by businesses and individuals over the past five years was 1.32 million per year. That historically low level is partly the result of a 2005 law that made it harder for individuals to declare bankruptcy. In the 10 years leading up to enactment of the law, filing averaged 1.5 million per year, according to the ABI.
 
Teresa Kohl, a bankruptcy expert at SSG Capital Advisors, an investment bank that specializes in corporate restructuring, said she expected businesses to continue to avoid filing for bankruptcy, even if it might be in their interests to do so.
 
“Bankruptcy is still viewed as expensive proposition and it's something that people tend to avoid at all costs,” Kohl said. “I don't think in 2014 there is going to be any dramatic change.”
 
For 2014, she said she expected to see healthcare companies under stress due to regulatory changes and agriculture businesses struggle as raw material costs increase. The number of business failures could grow if interest rates rise sharply, she said.
 
According to the report, the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware, led the country in business Chapter 11 filings in 2013. Among the large filings were battery-maker Exide Technologies, plug-in hybrid car-maker Fisker Automotive and the Edwin Watts Golf Shops chain.
 
Big U.S. businesses tend to incorporate in Delaware, which gives them the option to use the U.S. bankruptcy court there if they need protection from creditors.
 
The U.S. bankruptcy court in Los Angeles led the country in Chapter 11 business filings between 2010 and 2012. Its counterpart in Manhattan, also among the busiest in the country, last led in Chapter 11 business filings in 2009.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9012
JPY
USD
122.90
GBP
USD
0.6400
CAD
USD
1.2582
INR
USD
63.438

Rates may not be current.