Memphis, Las Vegas, Top Cities for December Bankruptcy Filings, Says Professor Ronald Mann

Memphis, Las Vegas, Top Cities forDecember Bankruptcy Filings in December, Says Professor Ronald Mann


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NOTE: An earlier version of this release contained information regarding the number of bankruptcies in Baldwin County, Alabama, that was inaccurate. Due to a processing error, Professor Ronald Mann was supplied erroneous figures by Lundquist Consulting. As a result, Baldwin is no longer among the top 10 counties with the highest bankruptcy filing rates for December. A corrected version appears below.
New York, Jan. 18, 2011—Bankruptcy filings rose slightly nationally in December, paced by the Memphis and Las Vegas areas, along with several hard-hit counties in the Southeast, an analysis by Columbia Law School Professor Ronald Mann found.
The figures, compiled for the National Bankruptcy Research Center, found the national filing rate increased from 493 to 508 per million adults.
For urban counties with 100,000 or more residents, Shelby County, Tenn., which includes Memphis, led the nation with 1,738 filings per million adults in December, followed by Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, with 1,271.
“Memphis has had some of the highest filings at the county level for much of the last year,” Mann said. “This is particularly interesting, because as a state, Tennessee has a relatively low filing level.”
Rounding out the top five for urban areas were Riverside, San Bernardino, and Solano counties in California.
The nation’s highest filing rate for a county was in Greene County, Alabama, with 2,126 filings per million. The county's poverty rate of 30 percent is nearly double the state's average. It was followed by Henry County, Ga. (1,786), Shelby County (1,738); Teton County, Idaho (1,677) and Walton County, Ga (1,596).
Rounding out the top 10 were Douglas County, Ga. (1,578); Haywood County, Tenn. (1,577); Petersburg City, Va. (1,561); Rockdale County, Ga. (1,553) and Lowndes County, Ala. (1,528).


On the positive side of the ledger, the counties that include New York City, Greenville, S.C., McAllen, Tex., West Chester, Penn., and Worcester, Mass., had the lowest filing rates for urban areas, averaging just 163 filings per million adults in December.
“These were areas where there was relatively little of the bubble-era real-estate lending,” Mann said. “New York is unusual because, despite its close ties to the financial industry, it has relatively few mortgage loans and an unusually high number of renters.”
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