These Four Southern States Have the Highest Bankruptcy Rates in the US

Bankruptcies rose last month nationwide, hitting a total of 64,283. That was up 3% from July of last year. Bankruptcies are on a pace to reach nearly 800,000 in 2019. The highest rates by state were in four states in the South.

The American Bankruptcy Institute posted the figures, based on data from the managed technology company Epiq Systems. The organizations separate consumer bankruptcies from commercial ones. Consumer bankruptcies rose 3% to 61,025, while commercial bankruptcies rose 4% to 3,258.

The nationwide average bankruptcy rate per capita in July was 2.5 per 10,000. Rates were higher by far in five states, four of which are in the South: Alabama (5.61), Tennessee (5.39), Georgia (4.31), Mississippi (4.25) and Nevada (3.79).

While bankruptcies generally peak in recessions, there is evidence that is not always true. According to 24/7 Wall St., bankruptcies have soared this year: “In the first seven months of 2019, nearly 43,000 workers lost their jobs when the companies they worked for filed for bankruptcy. That’s higher than the full-year total for any year since 2009.”

Some industries are more prone to job losses than others. Announced job cuts in the industrial goods manufacturing sector, for example, are up more than 500% so far this year. These are the fields with the best and worst job security.

Baby boomers are among the most likely portions of the population to go bankrupt. In a new research paper titled “Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society,” the authors pointed out “Using data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, we find more than a two-fold increase in the rate at which older Americans (age 65 and over) file for bankruptcy and an almost five-fold increase in the percentage of older persons in the U.S. bankruptcy system.”

Chapter 11 normally starts in one of two ways. The first is that the person or business files a petition that shows current financial information, which includes income, expenses and debt. In other cases, unpaid debtors can force the filing.

Large companies go through a process similar to individuals when they file for Chapter 11. Toys “R” Us, which initially filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2017, is an example of one of the largest ever retail bankruptcies, but it isn’t even in the running for a top 10 or even top 50 listing. These are the largest bankruptcies of all time.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.