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Planning for an American Bankruptcy Epidemic

The COVID-19 pandemic looks likely to cause the biggest surge in bankruptcies that the United States' court system has ever experienced. Without an immediate increase in judicial capacity to manage the coming flood of cases, an even larger economic disaster awaits.

PROVO/CAMBRIDGE – Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney, two of America’s retailing giants, recently failed to pay interest on their debt. We should expect one or both firms to file for bankruptcy soon, heralding a surge of US business failures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And with most American households currently lacking the cash to pay expenses for three months, many families and individuals will declare bankruptcy, too.