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Bankruptcy filings increase in July, especially in Tennessee

Some people may be under the impression that bankruptcy filings only peak when the country is in a recession. However, bankruptcy rates can increase even when the economy is stable. Recent numbers seem to show that an uptick in personal bankruptcy filings can occur at any time.

Across the nation bankruptcies in July increased 3 percent from July 2018 to a total of over 64,000. It is anticipated that, by the end of 2019, the number of bankruptcy filings will be approximately 800,000. And, Tennessee is one of the leaders in bankruptcy filings.

In July, the bankruptcy rate in the U.S. was 2.5 per 10,000 in July. However, in Tennessee the bankruptcy rate per capita that month was 5.39 -- the second-highest in the nation, with Alabama coming in with a bankruptcy rate of 5.61 in July.

Baby boomers are especially feeling the financial strain that may lead them to file for bankruptcy. The Consumer Bankruptcy Project reports that there was a two-fold uptick in the rate of those age 65 and up who filed for bankruptcy.

There are many reasons why people file for bankruptcy, even when the economy is doing well. A lost job, significant and unanticipated expenses and other financial burdens may lead some to determine that filing for bankruptcy is in their best interests. And, for many, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the financially responsible thing to do. A personal bankruptcy filing can lead to the discharge of many (but not necessarily all) of a person's debts, giving them the fresh financial start they need as they move into the future.

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