December bankruptcy filings fall

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Honolulu counted 305 new bankruptcy filings in December, down from the same month in 2009 and the first year-to-year decline since 2006.

More than two thirds of the filings were outright liquidations under Chapter 7 of federal bankruptcy law, the court reported Monday.

The year-to-year decline is not necessarily the beginning of a trend. December 2009 was the busiest month of that year for bankruptcy filings, making the year-to-year decline easier to achieve.

For full year 2010, there were almost 4,000 filings, up 27.5 percent from 2009, though that was a smaller rise than the 40 percent to 50 percent year-to-year increases of the previous three months.

There have been some high-profile cases of local companies emerging from bankruptcy, including Hawaiian Telcom and Hilo Hattie, but a variety of small businesses have shut down in the past year, even when sales were improving, because of the burden of debt incurred earlier when the economy was slower.

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