More than 30,000 U.S. businesses filed for bankruptcy protection in the first half of 2009, a 64 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.
The number of Chapter 11 business reorganizations increased by 113 percent, to 7,396, and Chapter 7 business liquidations jumped by 57 percent, to 20,375, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.
It is unclear how many business owners were among the 681,217 Americans who filed personal bankruptcies in the first six months of 2009.
“The increase in filings through the first half of this year is a product of continued financial stresses weighing on both consumers and businesses,” said ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano. “In this challenging economic environment, we expect bankruptcies to surge past 1.4 million by year end.”
A total of 381,073 bankruptcy cases were filed in the quarter ended June 30 — the highest quarterly number since 2005, when filings surged in the weeks before tougher bankruptcy laws went into effect.