4 file for bankruptcy in ’19


Four filed bankruptcy petitions in 2019 before the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s Bankruptcy Division.

Court records showed that three individuals filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, while one individual filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
The last to file was a Chapter 7 case on May 14. The filing of a couple is considered one bankruptcy case.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most assets of the debtor are liquidated as quickly as possible to pay off his or her creditors to the extent possible and to free the debtor to start anew.

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. Also known as reorganization bankruptcy, it enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts, according to U.S courts.

In 2018, no individual or business filed a bankruptcy petition before the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s Bankruptcy Division. It was the first time in over a decade in the CNMI that no one filed for bankruptcy.

Some people said the CNMI’s good economy in 2018 was possibly a factor for the zero bankruptcy cases.

Timothy H. Bellas and Alexis Fallon handle most of the bankruptcy cases in the CNMI. Bellas is now in the U.S. mainland.

In 2017, five bankruptcy cases were filed in the District Court. Except for Saipan Sea Ventures, all cases were filed by individuals.
In 2016, only four bankruptcy cases were filed. All were individuals.

In 2015, eight bankruptcy cases were filed, including that of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.

In 2005, 31 bankruptcy cases were filed, the all-time highest record of such cases in the CNMI.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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