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Nashville: Does a high bankruptcy rate mean Tennessee is doing poorly?

Don't feel bad. Bankruptcy happens everywhere, not just here.

Here's the bad news: Tennessee has the worst bankruptcy record in the U.S., according to a report produced by finance website NerdWallet.

As Will Racke reports with the Nashville Business Journal, the hardest hit area of Tennessee is Shelby County (Memphis), with 1,286 bankruptcy filings per 100,000 people, the worst rate of any county nationwide.

No. 55 on the report was Rutherford County (Nashville), with 442 per 100,000.

You were feeling OK until now, right?

News like this isn't great for one's outlook.

As Racke writes, "Many states with high rates allow creditors to seize more of a debtor's household goods or wages, increasing the likelihood that he or she will have to file for bankruptcy protection."

NerdWallet analyst Courtney Miller says Tennessee is one of those states.

At the same time, however, being at the top of the list in terms of personal bankruptcy rates, it's easy to forget that no state remains completely unscathed. Financial trouble is not limited to the people of Shelby County, Tennessee.

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, people and companies filed 819,240 total bankruptcies in 2015. Granted, this was a 10 percent decrease from 2014. It's also a long shot from the record number of filings we saw during the Great Recession year of 2009.

But 819,240 is still a big number.

In other words, if you're feeling the strain of overwhelming debt, you're not alone, and try not to take it too poorly when you hear that Tennessee has the highest bankruptcy rate in the nation. As Racke points out in his article, "By several metrics, Tennessee's economy is one of the nation's healthiest, with growing exports and the highest rate of advanced industry job growth of any state."

That's a lot to be proud of.

Feeling overwhelmed by debt? Call us.

You hear this kind of news about Tennessee and think you're alone. You're not. We can help.

Call the Nashville bankruptcy lawyers of Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC, at 615-866-2265 for a free consultation.

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Rothschild & Ausbrooks, PLLC
1222 16th Avenue South, Suite 12
Nashville, TN 37212

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