Top 10 Business Bankruptcies of 2012
According to recent bankruptcy statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, bankruptcy filings involving business debts fell from 47,806 in Calendar Year 2011 to 40,075 in Calendar Year 2012. Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, which usually involve corporations or partnerships, fell 10% to 10,361 in Calendar Year 2012 from 11,529 in Calendar Year 2011.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2012, the top bankruptcy courts with the most Chapter 11 business filings were:
- 9th Circuit (includes Arizona, California, Nevada)
- 11th Circuit (includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
- 3rd Circuit (includes Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
- 2nd Circuit (includes Connecticut, New York, Vermont)
The companies in the following top 10 company bankruptcies of 2012 each had both assets and liabilities exceeding $1 billion.
#1: Residential Capital, LLC
ResCap was one of the biggest subprime-mortgage lenders in the country and was hit hard by the financial crisis. When the Minnesota-based company filed for Chapter 11 with $15.3 billion in debt, it was the 35th largest filing of all time based on asset value ($15.7 billion).
#2: Edison Mission Energy
California-based coal, natural gas, and wind power producer Edison Mission filed for Chapter 11 at the end of 2012 with $3.7 billion in debt.
#3: Eastman Kodak Company
The New York-based imaging pioneer was unable to sell 1,100 digital-imaging patents that could have forestalled a bankruptcy filing. Last January, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 protection citing $6.24 billion in assets and $7.3 billion in debt with approximately 17,000 employees at the time.
#4: Overseas Shipholding Group Inc.
As one of the world's largest publicly traded tanker owner, OSG owns and operates 111 vessels that transport oil, refined products, and natural gas worldwide. It filed for bankruptcy in November in 2012 citing over $4 billion in assets and $2.7 billion in debt.
#5: Patriot Coal Corp.
Patriot Coal is a Missouri-based producer and marketer of coal products in the eastern United States that had struggled in recent years as a result of the decreased demand for coal. Along with 98 affiliates, Patriot filed for Chapter 11 citing $3.8 billion in assets and $3.1 billion in debt.
#6: ATP Oil & Gas Corporation
This Texas-based company acquires, develops, and produces oil and natural gas assets and filed for Chapter 11 with $3.1 billion in debt incurred in large part during the offshore drilling suspension following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
#7: First Place Financial Corp.
As the Ohio-based bank holding company for First Place Bank, First Place Financial filed for Chapter 11 with $175.3 million listed in assets before selling to Talmer Bancorp Inc.
#8: Hawker Beechcraft, Inc.
Based in Kansas, this company is a manufacturer of business, special mission, and trainer/attack aircraft as well as parts and aviation products. It filed for Chapter 11 with $2.8 billion in assets and a staggering $3.7 billion in debt.
#9: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Along with 20 affiliates, the Massachusetts-based textbook, novel, book, and reference work publisher, filed pre-negotiated Chapter 11 cases citing $2.7 billion in assets and $3.5 billion in debt.
#10: United Western Bancorp, Inc.
The Denver-based holding company that formerly owned United Western Bank filed for Chapter 11 last March and also filed a lawsuit against the Office of Thrift Supervisions citing an abuse of power.
Two of the business bankruptcies with some of the most media attention in 2012 included:
- Hostess Brands, Inc., the famous baker of popular brands such as Wonder Bread, Twinkies, and HoHos, filed for bankruptcy for the second time in a decade
- Dewey & LeBoeuf, a private law firm, had the largest law firm collapse in U.S. history
Notable Bankruptcies in the Beginning of 2013
There have already been some well-known companies that are filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the start of 2013. These include the following:
This company filed for Chapter 11 in February. This is its second bankruptcy filing in nearly four years.
The video game icon filed for Chapter 11 in January. It has a portfolio of more than 200 video games.
Education Holdings Inc.
Filing for Chapter 11 in January, this test-preparation company was formerly known as Princeton Review.
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Image Credits: Dave Granlund