Only five bankruptcy cases were filed in the U.S. District Court for the NMI in 2017, according to court records.
All five bankruptcy cases were filed last November and December. Except for Saipan Sea Ventures, all cases were filed by individuals.
Sea Ventures filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, while the individuals filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a debtor is allowed to enter into an agreement with creditors under which all or part of the business continues. The objective is to adjust and reorganize a debtor’s obligations so as to allow the business to continue.
Saipan Sea Ventures’ case is closed.
In case of 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.
Only one of the four Chapter 7 cases is closed. Among those pending is the case filed by a former Office of the Public Auditor employee who is facing a theft case in the Superior Court.
No one so far has filed a bankruptcy petition this year.
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.
The all-time highest record of bankruptcy cases in the CNMI was in 2005 when 31 cases were filed.