By Tom Hals
Feb. 5 (Reuters) - The number of U.S. companies seeking
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection fell 36 percent in January from
a year ago, as interest rates remained low.
Commercial Chapter 11 filings fell to 479 from 749 in
January of 2012, Epiq Systems Inc and the American Bankruptcy
Institute, or ABI, said in a report on Tuesday.
Total commercial filings, which also includes liquidations
under Chapter 7, fell 26 percent to 3,728 in January from 5,006
a year earlier.
January bankruptcies included the former broker Penson
Worldwide Inc, hotel video firm LodgeNet Interactive Corp,
wireless antenna maker Powerwave Technologies Inc and school
supplies company School Specialty Inc.
Bankruptcy for individuals also continued to drop as the
U.S. economy has slowly recovered from recession, according to
The total number of bankruptcy filings of all types in
January fell 11 percent to 78,471 from a year earlier.
ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano said bankruptcy
filings are expected to continue to drop in the coming year as
households and businesses cut their debt and interest rates
Credit rating agency Moody's said on Friday that its
liquidity stress index, which rises when non-investment-grade
companies struggle to find funds, had fallen to a record low in
January and was less than half of its long-term average.
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