Skip to content
Subscriber Only

The Bankruptcy Business Is Booming

The economic downturn and pending federal legislation are driving up filings before the consequences of failure become even more costly

The new year was only a few days old when Silicon Valley bankruptcy attorney Norma Hammes noticed that corporations were halting construction projects, letting incomplete buildings stand as towering monuments to the stalled economy. "That rippled down, says Hammes. "Of course it affected small-business people," says Hammes.

Many small companies and sole proprietorships that had been teetering on the edge of insolvency late last year also saw few bright spots when they surveyed 2001's economic landscape. Instead of hopeful signs pointing to a coming upturn, what caught their eye instead were headlines announcing corporate layoffs and the passage of tougher bankruptcy legislation.