The number of companies that have defaulted on debt in 2015 so far rose to 29 this week, according to Standard & Poor's, or nearly half the 60 that defaulted in all of 2014. At this time last year, just 17 defaults had occurred, S&P said in a statement. Of the 29, 16 are based in the U.S. seven in emerging markets, four in Europe and the other two in the other developed nations. In March alone, the rating agency withdrew ratings on three U.S. issuers at their request. On March 12, three unrated entities -- Doral Financial Corp., UC Holdings Inc. and Standard Register Co. -- filed for bankruptcy. On April 3, it downgraded Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire Recycling Holdco LLC to SD, or selective default, from CC. On April 3, it downgraded Denver-based Venoco Inc. to SD from CCC+. On April 7, it downgraded Lexington, Ky.-based RAAM Global Energy Co. to D, or default, from CCC.
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