Bankruptcies Spike in May

A wave of insolvencies washing through America.
June 3, 2020

The financial distress wrought by the shutdowns has only deepened, producing what is now a wave of insolvencies washing through America’s corporations. In May alone, some 27 companies reporting at least $50 million in liabilities sought court protection from creditors — the highest number since the Great Recession. They range from well-known U.S. mainstays such as J.C. Penney Co. and J. Crew Group Inc. to air carriers Latam Airlines Group SA and Avianca Holdings.

Year-to-date, there have been 98 bankruptcies filed by companies with at least $50 million in liabilities — also the highest since 2009, when 142 companies filed in the first four months. “I think we’re going to continue to see filings of at least the level we’re seeing for a while,” said Melanie Cyganowski, a former bankruptcy judge.


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