Bankruptcy filings continue their record lows in New Hampshire

Smallest number in 33 years recorded in January

Bankruptcy DefinitionfaceThis year started where 2020 finished, with another bankruptcy record.

Some 56 New Hampshire individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy in January, the lowest number seen in any January – indeed, any month – since January 1988. The total was 11 fewer than December 2020 and four fewer than November 2020.

The low number of bankruptcies persists despite the resurgence of the pandemic in December and January and the state’s relatively high unemployment, particularly in the hospitality industry, with some restaurants and hotels going into hibernation following a muted Christmas.

Bankruptcy filings in the state have been in the double digits for 10 straight months, dropping in April just after the pandemic first struck and after a generation of monthly bankruptcy filings in the hundreds.

For months, bankruptcy attorneys have predicted an increase in filings, but that hasn’t happened. Businesses and individuals, bolstered by federal and state aid and sheltered from most evictions and foreclosures, have managed to hang on, with the hope of future assistance or an easing of the pandemic as the vaccine rollout continues. Others – particularly brick-and-motor retailers — might have been hanging on at least until Christmas before making any decision.

But Christmas is long gone, and most businesses and individuals are not throwing in the towel.

January’s total is less than a sixth of the 381 that were filed in January 2010, in the midst of the last recession.  It was less than half of the 121 filed in January of 2020, a 54% decrease.

In all of total there was a total of 1,054 filings, or an average of 88 a month. In 2019, the total was 1,774, for a monthly average of 148. In 2010 the yearly total was 5,507, or 459 a month. You have to go back to 1988 – in the midst of a booming economy – to get a lower annual total – 835, or 70 a month.

In January there were three bankruptcy filings with business-related debt, but only one was filed by the business directly, and it is conjunction with a sale free and clear of all liens:

• Parrillo Designs LLC, dba Derailed Boutique, Kingston, filed Jan. 15, Chapter 7. Assets: $37,405. Liabilities: $82,201.

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