The 20 largest bankrupt companies: Since 1980, many companies filed for bankruptcy in America. This is a list of the 20 largest bankruptcies of the last 30 years. Famous bankrupt companies during the years 1980-2008 include businesses that couldn't weather the recessions of the mid '80s, '90s and 2000's. Companies filing bankruptcy often face a stigma they can't recover from. Many of the business that filed for bankruptcy protection have had to close their stores, doors, and operations. Lehman Brothers Bank FSB tops this list of 20 largest bankruptcies since 1980.