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whither business bankruptcy filings?

the empirical legal studies blog poses the provocative question — what has happened to business bankruptcy filings. according to all published indicators they are spiraling down at a rate that is (depending on which side of the aisle you inhabit) either very good or very bad … but in any case dizzying. this quote from that blog sort of packs it all in for us:

federal bankruptcy filings are increasingly rare among failing small businesses. for every hundred small businesses that fail, fewer than twenty file for bankruptcy. and bankruptcy filings have become more rare over time. business failures have hovered around 650,000 since 1989, according to the Small Business Administration. but the number of business bankruptcy filings has fallen from about 60,000 in 1989 to 35,000 in 2003, a 42% drop. these statistics are taken from the federal government”s case filings database (PACER). [more]

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