New Hampshire March bankruptcies drop 10 percent from 2018

No businesses file for protection in the month

There were 166 New Hampshire bankruptcy filings in March, 37 percent more than February, and that is good news?

Yes, because the total was actually 10 percent lower than a year earlier, no businesses filed for protection.

March has always been a bad month for bankruptcies, perhaps because of a rough winter, or the lack of a tax refund, or that looming first quarterly payment. But 166 filings was the smallest March number since 1989, save for 2006, the year after the law changed making it harder to file. And it’s quite an improvement from March 2010 – in the heart of the recession – when there 586 filings, more than the first three months of this year combined.

Through the first quarter of 2019, there have been 447 bankruptcy filings, six more than the first quarter of 2017, but mainly due to an awful January, when 160 individuals and businesses filed – the worst January since 2014.

On the whole, bankruptcy filings have remained stable the last three years. Filings climbed in the years before the recession, and declined sharply in its aftermath. In 2018, there were 1,746 bankruptcies – an average of 145.5 a month, a 4.2 percent decline from the 1,823 – or 152 a month – filed in 2017. This year so far the average is 149 filings a month.

Eight households filed with business related debt, compared to two last year, but none filed directly as a business, whereas one did so in February.

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