Capitol Bancorp (CBCRQ) has skillfully avoided collapse for several years, but the next few weeks could provide the biggest tests to its survival.

The Lansing, Mich., company's recapitalization — and perhaps its fate — lies in the balance on two key December dates. A bankruptcy confirmation hearing is set for Dec. 4, though the court session has already been pushed back twice, indicating to some industry observers that Capitol is struggling to find the equity necessary to make the plan work.

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