Commercial bankruptcy protection filings rose by more than 50 percent last year, according to data filed Thursday, showing how the recession continued to cull businesses even as the economy stabilized.
Toward the end of the year, however, the pace of filings abated, according to the data released Thursday by credit reporting agency Equifax Inc.
Commercial filings hit 117,659 last year, up 52 percent from the 77,638 filed in 2008, Equifax reported.
That's nearly four times the number of filings in 2006, when such bankruptcy filings hit an all-time low near 3,000.
In the October to December period of 2009, filings were up only 12 percent and by December, filings were up only 3 percent compared with the corresponding period in 2008, according to Equifax.
The bankruptcies spread across the U.S., although California was one of the most hard hit.
In the fourth quarter alone, the Los Angeles, Sacramento and Riverside, Calif. metropolitan areas led the nation in filings, as they did in the second and third quarters. Other areas with a high number of filings in the fourth quarter included Portland, Ore., Denver, New York and Chicago.
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