If you live in North Carolina, you reside in a state that is on the lower end of the spectrum for rates of bankruptcy filings. According to NerdWallet, during the period from April 2015 to March 2016, the average number of bankruptcies across the country was 224 for every 100,000 people. North Carolina had an average of only 150 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 residents.
The study looked at rates of personal bankruptcies per 100,000 people in 587 counties, as well as each state. It was found that rate of bankruptcy was as high as 856 for every 100,000 people in the counties with the highest rates of filings. Not surprisingly, it was found that if you live an area with low average income, the rates of bankruptcy tend to be higher. It was found that 80 percent of counties and states with the highest rates of bankruptcy all had median incomes below the national average. In 2014, the median household income across the United States was $53,657.
Many of the states where bankruptcy rates were high also have consumer protection laws that are relatively weak. When borrowers have the ability to seize all of a person’s assets to pay off his or her debts, it is not surprising that higher rates of bankruptcy result.
Other areas of the South did not fare as well as North Carolina. Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama all ranked among states with the highest number of bankruptcies. Tennessee actually ranked highest in the nation with 553 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 people, more than double the national average. Several states in the Midwest also ranked high, including Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.