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Nevada's residents remain most likely to file for bankruptcy

Filings expected to hit 1.6 million in 2010

By Tyler Metzger

When it comes to filing for bankruptcies, Nevadans have the dubious honor of being way out in front of the residents of any other state, according to bankruptcy per capita figures compiled from court records for the third quarter of 2010.

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Of every 1,000 Nevada residents, 11.4 filed for bankruptcy, according to the figures from Automated Access to Court Electronic Records.

Total bankruptcy filings reached 1.2 million since the beginning of the year, an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2009. The majority of bankruptcies were personal (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13); business bankruptcies made up just 6 percent of those filed.

States change rankings
When looking at individual states, Tennessee and Georgia switched places for second and third place in the third quarter. 

Only a few states made big moves up or down the rankings. Michigan, Kentucky and Delaware had sharp increases in bankruptcy filings per capita, Vermont had a sharp fall.

South Carolina and Alaska remain the states with lowest bankruptcies per capita, and the range between the states most likely and least likely to file is wide: Someone from Nevada is about seven times more likely to file for bankruptcy than someone from Alaska.

As the fourth quarter begins, bankruptcy filings in the United States are continuing a slow climb back toward the record 2.1 million recorded in 2005. In October of that year alone, more than 630,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy, rushing to avoid the effects of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which made it harder for individuals to erase debt.

"While the 2005 bankruptcy overhaul law aimed to reduce filings, overall consumer debt and continued financial stress have led to consumer bankruptcies climbing back to pre-BAPCPA levels," said Samuel J. Gerdano, executive director of the insolvency research group American Bankruptcy Institute, in a prepared statement. "We expect that there will be nearly 1.6 million new bankruptcy filings by year end."

How did your state's residents rank in likelihood to file for bankruptcy? This table shows all 50 states' rank, with most likely to file at the top.

State (Click the state name for details)
2010 rank (through Sep. 30)Filings per 1,000 residents
2009 end-of-year rank
Nevada 1
11.4 1
Tennessee 2
8 3
Georgia 3
7.9 2
Indiana 4
7.5
5
Alabama 5
7.3 6
California 6
7
4
Michigan 7
7 12
Colorado 8
6.7 9
Utah 9
6.5
11
Arizona 10 6.4 13
Illinois 11
6.4 7
Ohio 12
6.3 15
Florida 13
6.1 16
Kentucky 14
5.9 8
Arkansas 15
5.7 19
Missouri 16
5.6 10
Wisconsin 17
5.5 17
Idaho 18
5.4 22
Oregon 19
5.4
21
Maryland 20
5.3
18
Rhode Island 21
5.2
25
Washington 22
5.1
23
Virginia 23
4.8 24
Delaware 24
4.8 14
Mississippi 25
4.8 20
New Jersey 26
4.7 29
Nebraska 27
4.4 27
Minnesota 28
4.3 28
New Hampshire 29
4.3 30
Louisiana 30
4.2 26
Oklahoma 31
4.1 32
Kansas 32
4.1 31
Massachusetts 33
3.6 35
West Virginia 34 3.5 33
Iowa 35
3.4 34
Connecticut 36
3.3 36
New Mexico 37
3.3 40
Montana 38
3.3 42
Maine 39
3.2 41
Pennsylvania 40
3.1
45
Hawaii 41
3.1
37
New York 42
2.9 39
Wyoming 43
2.9 43
North Carolina 44
2.8 44
Vermont 45
2.7 38
North Dakota 46
2.5 47
South Dakota 47
2.5 46
Texas 48
2.3 48
District of Columbia 49
2.2 50
South Carolina 50
2.1 49
Alaska 51
1.6 51
Source: Automated Access to Court Electronic Records

See related: Bankruptcy filings, state by state, 2005-2010, 5 tips for those considering bankruptcy, 4 ways to re-establish credit after bankruptcy, 5 misconceptions after credit after bankruptcy

Published: October 18, 2010



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