New Hampshire closes out 2021 with record low number of bankruptcy filings
45 individuals, no businesses, sought protection in December
Don’t trust the experts.
When New Hampshire shut down in the spring of 2020 and unemployment surged, most predicted record high bankruptcy filings.
Instead, New Hampshire finished off 2021 with yet another new record low month, resulting in another record low year.
Only 45 individuals filed in December, beating the modern record by three, and that was set in September. That brought the total to 729 for the year, a 31 percent drop from 2020, which itself was 41 percent below 2019.
No businesses filed for bankruptcy in December and no individual filed with business-related debt – the first time that has happened since NH Business Review started keeping track of filings about a decade ago.
December filings were 33 percent below November 2020 and just over a tenth of the 419 filed in 2009, during the last recession. You would have to go back to 1986 to find a December with fewer filings (28), except for 2005, when December was the second month after a change in federal law was changed making it harder to file for bankruptcy.
Filings have now been below 100 for 21 consecutive months. For 30 years before that, they have been above 100.
There was an average of 88 bankruptcies in 2020, a 40 percent drop from 2019. In 2021, the average was under 61. It was the first time there have been fewer than 1,000 bankruptcies filed annually since 1989 and the lowest total since 1987.