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Research and Statistics

State by state bankruptcy statistics, 2005-2011

Summary

Bankruptcies reversed course and fell in 2011, but it’s not just due to debt aversion. We may just be running out of people who benefit from filing

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Bankruptcy filings dropped a steep 12 percent in 2011, and while some experts attribute it to more cautious consumer spending and a decline in credit card debt, others say that we’re just running out of people who can benefit from filing.

Fewer than 1.37 million bankruptcy filings were recorded in 2011 for the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to data from Epiq Systems, compared to almost 1.55 million the previous year.

“It mimics consumer spending,” says Howard Dvorkin, founder of the nonprofit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc. “The whole debt world has been turned on its head over the last 18 months.”

The chart below summarizes Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies by state and by jurisdiction, through the end of 2011. (Story continues below the map.)

2013 bankruptcy filings