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Business bankruptcy filings soar

The number of bankruptcies involving primarily business debts soared last year, according to figures released by the federal judiciary.

In 2009, 58,721 business bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts, a 52 percent increase over 2008. Meanwhile, the total number of bankruptcy filings increased by 35 percent during the same period.

Last year saw the greatest number of bankruptcy filings since 2005, the year the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) went into effect.

The largest surge in business-related bankruptcies involved Chapter 11, or debt restructuring filings, which rose 69 percent last year, according to John Golmant, a statistician in the Statistics Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, who examined the numbers.

Chapter 7, or debt liquidation filings, comprised the largest percentage of total business filings and increased by 51 percent.

Monthly business filings are now roughly twice what they were before the implementation of BAPCPA.

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