Largest U.S. Bankruptcies, 1980–Present
Filing away some of America's biggest IOUs
Bankruptcy is the legal process of getting out of insolvency. Insolvency is when a person or business is incapable of paying back its debts. These debts can be owed to many different people and under many different terms. As a result, bankruptcies are negotiated and handled on a case by case basis to ensure the best outcome for lenders and for debtors. This often means bailing a company out so that they can keep operating, since them failing would have a worse outcome for everyone.
Sometimes, companies that go bankrupt can still have baffling amounts of assets. This was especially true during the market crash of 2008. These are the largest bankruptcy filings in U.S. history, as of 2020.
Worldcom corporate headquarters in Clinton, Miss.
Source: AP Photo/Rogelio Solis
|Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.||9/15/2008||$691,063|
|Washington Mutual, Inc.||9/26/2008||327,913|
|General Motors Corporation||6/1/2009||91,047|
|CIT Group Inc.||11/1/2009||80,448|
|MF Global Holdings Ltd.||10/31/2011||40,541|
|Thornburg Mortgage, Inc.||5/1/2009||36,521|
|Pacific Gas and Electric Co.||4/06/2001||36,152|
|Financial Corp. of America||9/9/1988||33,864|
|IndyMac Bancorp, Inc.||7/31/2008||32,734|
|Global Crossing Ltd.||1/28/2002||30,185|
|Bank of New England Corp.||1/7/1991||29,773|
|General Growth Properties, Inc.||4/16/2009||29,773|
|Lyondell Chemical Company||1/6/2009||27,392|
|United States' Largest Banks||US Companies and Industry||Life Insurance in Force|