Car rental giant Hertz files for bankruptcy as its vehicles remain idled by pandemic

Car giant was already saddled with debt before COVID-19 struck.

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HertzCounterNYC
A Hertz counter at New York City's JFK airport.
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Updated: May 22, 2020 - 11:50pm

Hertz Global Holdings on Friday eveing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as large debts and 700,000 vehicles mostly idled by the pandemic brought the car rental giant to its knees.

The Florida-based company, which listed more than $24 billion in debt, took the action in a Delaware bankruptcy court in an effort to avoid permanent closure and a liquidation of its fleet.

The company said it had $1 billion in cash to keep operating on a limited basis while it negotiated with its lenders and vendors. Its financial problems became apparent last month when it missed a round of payments.

Hertz is the nation's second largest car rental agency and boasts the brands Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly.

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