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FairPoint teeters on bankruptcy

MIDDLEBURY-FairPoint Communications, Vermont's leading provider of telecommunications services to residential and business customers-including local and long distance voice, data, Internet, television and broadband-may be forced into bankruptcy protection, despite efforts to avoid Chapter 11 status.

The financially embattled telecommunications company entered talks this week with its major lenders. The talks are aimed at restructuring the North Carolina-based firm's massive debt.

A FairPoint news release said the company has entered into "a forbearance agreement", which means its lenders will not foreclose in exchange for the firm to agree to a payment plan that will cure its mounting delinquencies.

Despite the unusual financial efforts underway, FairPoint may still be forced to file for Chapter 11, according to a news release.

Shares of FairPoint on the New York Stock Exchange (trading symbol FRP) have been in near freefall since this week's announcement. Shares have lost 30 percent of their value in less than 24 hours.

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