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Nevada’s residents remain most likely to file for bankruptcy

Summary

Nevadans, hard hit by the recession, hold the dubious distinction of being most likely to file for bankruptcy, court records show

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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.

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 residents2009 end-of-year rank
Nevada111.41
Tennessee283
Georgia37.92
Indiana47.55
Alabama57.36
California674
Michigan7712
Colorado86.79
Utah96.511
Arizona106.413
Illinois116.47
Ohio126.315
Florida136.116
Kentucky145.98
Arkansas155.719
Missouri165.610
Wisconsin175.517
Idaho185.422
Oregon195.421
Maryland205.318
Rhode Island215.225
Washington225.123
Virginia234.824
Delaware244.814
Mississippi254.820
New Jersey264.729
Nebraska274.427
Minnesota284.328
New Hampshire294.330
Louisiana304.226
Oklahoma314.132
Kansas324.131
Massachusetts333.635
West Virginia343.533
Iowa353.434
Connecticut363.336
New Mexico373.340
Montana383.342
Maine393.241
Pennsylvania403.145
Hawaii413.137
New York422.939
Wyoming432.943
North Carolina442.844
Vermont452.738
North Dakota462.547
South Dakota472.546
Texas482.348
District of Columbia492.250
South Carolina502.149
Alaska511.651
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

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