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Shenzhen court issues landmark ruling on personal bankruptcy

Decision could lead to China's first nationwide legal framework on debt issues

The Shenzhen skyline. China still lacks a nationwide legal framework to help individuals deal with debt caused by business failure or overborrowing while also ensuring creditors are fairly compensated.   © Reuters

A landmark personal bankruptcy ruling by a court in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen could pave the way for the nationwide rollout of a legal system that would allow individuals and private businesspeople who can't repay their loans to undergo debt workouts or be declared bankrupt.

The Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court approved a bankruptcy restructuring plan for Liang Wenjin, a businessman who racked up 750,000 yuan ($155,000) in debt as of March after a failed business venture, according to a statement posted by the court on Monday. Liang was ordered to repay the principal to his creditors within three years but was exempted from paying interest and late-payment penalties.

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