Maine commercial bankruptcy filings down in 2011

Posted Jan. 06, 2012, at 6:04 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Experts say a 15 percent decline in commercial bankruptcy filings in Maine in 2011 is a good sign, even though it fell short of the 20 percent decline in filings nationally.

Epiq Systems, a New York company that tracks bankruptcies, reports that about 3,500 commercial entities in Maine filed for some form of bankruptcy in 2011. That’s down from a record-high of 4,111 bankruptcies in 2010.

Chapter 7 accounts for more than 85 percent of Maine’s commercial bankruptcies. A Chapter 7 filing requires the liquidation of a business’s assets to pay creditors. Chapter 11 allows a business to keep creditors at bay while it reorganizes debt.

Richard Olson, a partner at Perkins Olson, tells The Portland Press Herald he expects the commercial bankruptcy rate to continue to decline in 2012.