Why are people still filing for personal bankruptcy in Ohio?
As the national economy continues to recover from the Great Recession of 2008 the number of personal bankruptcy filings has been declining. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many individuals in Ohio are still facing insurmountable debts.
In fact, a recent study of bankruptcies from April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2016 found that Ohio has the 10th highest rate of personal bankruptcy filings in the country. Cuyahoga Country remains particularly distressed as it has recorded more bankruptcies in 2016 that other counties in the state. Out of 587 counties across America, Cuyahoga comes in at number 53 in terms of personal bankruptcy filings.
Ohio is not alone as Tennessee (#1), Alabama (#2) and Georgia (#3) continue to struggle and all of the top ten states are either in the South or industrial Midwest. Closer to home, Illinois and Indiana came in at fourth and sixth, respectively. While many residents in the Southern states historically have poor credit which may account for the bankruptcy rate, there are other factors in play in Ohio.
Not only was the Midwest slammed by the recession, Ohio still has a higher unemployment rate than the national average along with a lower median household income. In other words, more people are out of work here than elsewhere, and those that are working are earning less. According to the latest available Census Bureau figures, the median household income in Ohio was $48,849 compared to the national figure of $53, 483.
Meanwhile, other regions of the country continue to rebound. While the national median bankruptcy rate is 224 filings per 100,000 people, the rate is 322/100,000 in Ohio, and 444/100,000 in Cuyahoga. Between April 1, 2015 and March 31 2016, over 37,000 individuals filed for bankruptcy in the state.
In the end, many Ohioans, still struggling with managing their debt, can obtain relief filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy can enable you to eliminate your debt or work out a repayment plan, doing so requires serious consideration as it will have long lasting consequences on your ability to borrow money. By engaging the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you may be able to make a fresh start.