New Hampshire closes 2020 with near record low bankruptcies

Fewest filings for a year since 1988

Bankruptcy DefinitionfaceDespite the pandemic-induced recession, the number of bankruptcies filed in New Hampshire in 2020 was the lowest in 32 years.

Some 67 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy protection in December, the lowest number for any December since 1987, save for the three months following a 2005 change in the bankruptcy law that made it much harder to file. It was only seven more than the 60 filed in November, which set the modern record for any month.

The low number of filings persists despite high unemployment and the phase-out of both federal and state assistance to individuals and business – aid that will return this month – and the Covid-19 resurgence.

For months now, bankruptcy attorneys have predicted an increase in filings, but that hasn’t happened. Businesses and households, bolstered by aid and sheltered from most evictions and foreclosures, have managed to hang on. perhaps teased by the hope of future assistance or an easing of the pandemic.

Still, the low number of filings in 2020 was stunning.

December’s total is less than a sixth of the 414 that were filed in December 2009, in the midst of the last recession. It brought the year’s total to 1,054, or 88 a month. Last year, 1,774 bankruptcies were filed, for a monthly average of 148. In 2010, the total was 5,507, or 459 a month. You have to go back to 1988 to get a lower annual total: 835, or 70 a month.

Meanwhile, two New Hampshire businesses filed for protection. They were:

  • Steelcore LLC, Weare, filed Dec. 8, Chapter 7. Assets: $29,200. Liabilities: $152,895.

• Veracity Construction Group Inc., Nashua, filed Dec. 28, Chapter 7. Assets: $100,000 to $500,000. Liabilities: $1 million to $10 million.

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