Friday, January 27, 2012

Bankruptcy 2011 Statistics

       A statistical breakdown of the Country's Bankruptcy filings were recently released by the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC), and Tennessee unfortunately did not fare well. The county with the highest bankruptcy filings per capita was Shelby County, Tennessee with 18,764 per million inhabitants (12,814 filings total filings). And Tennessee, overall, ranked the 4th highest of bankruptcies filed per capita. Aside from Tennessee's clear struggle in this recession, overall the country's filings dropped 12%, the first drop in bankruptcy filings since 2006 (the year after the Bankruptcy Code was amended to make it harder for people to qualify for bankruptcy).

       However, according to the NBKRC, “bankruptcy filings in December were almost exactly the same as November (101,000), but December filings are typically quite low. So, on a seasonally adjusted basis filings were actually up 7% from November.”  Accordingly, it is predicted that 2012 filings will increase.  Another interesting note, putting aside from Shelby county's #1 ranking, the counties ranking 2-10 are all rural. This is likely due to the fact that (1) rural counties generally have lower incomes, and (2) more people per capita own their homes in rural counties while, per capita, more people rent in urban counties, making rural citizens more susceptible to debt and foreclosure, a strong catalyst forcing one into bankruptcy. 

       By looking at these results, it seems that Tennessee is in for another rough year of Bankruptcy filings as well as the rest of the country.   Though the economy is muddling through a recovery, the slow growth is insufficient to allow those indebted with credit cards, mortgages, medical bills, and car loans to cure those defaults. 

      For more information on the NBKRC and the research provided by Professor Ronald Mann of the Columbia Law School, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment