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Houston Small Business Bankruptcies On The Rise

A new study from credit reporting firm Equifax shows that small business bankruptcies have dropped 36% over the past two years. But Houston is bucking the national trend.


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One hundred seventeen companies in Greater Houston filed for bankruptcy in March, the most recent month on record. That puts the Houston metro area third in the nation for bankruptcies, behind Los Angeles and California’s Riverside County. And while bankruptcy rates have been falling across much of the country, Houston’s is up 40% since March of 2010.

Wayne Kitchens is co-managing partner at the Houston law firm of Hughes Watters Askanase. He says his firm has seen bankruptcy filings pick up since February after a slowdown at the end of last year.

“But I think that it’s important to remember there’s thousands of businesses here, and Houston’s a very entrepreneurial town. People I don’t think mind taking risks here, and sometimes those risks simply don’t pay off.”

Kitchens says many small firms are unable to afford the costs of a Chapter 11 filing. They’re forced to file instead for Chapter 7 — liquidation.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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