21 States With the Highest Personal Bankruptcy Rates Related to COVID-19

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COVID-19 has taken a toll on the U.S. economy, and millions of Americans are feeling the financial strain. While some people will be able to recover fairly easily, others may find themselves falling further behind in their finances and in need of serious help. Personal bankruptcies are an option of last resort for consumers who can’t pay their debts, but they also offer consumers a second chance financially. Many consumers feel embarrassed about the prospect of filing for bankruptcy, but bankruptcy protections exist for a reason.

“Individual bankruptcy law, in particular, is designed to help people when they are at a vulnerable time and to encourage risk-taking, such as entrepreneurship, that is vital to economic growth,” explains Shawn A. Cole, John G. McLean Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Whether you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to restructure debt, you can reset your finances. It can take time, but even after bankruptcy, you can rebuild your credit and gain access to credit cards, auto loans and even mortgages. In the midst of the pandemic, you are not alone, and you can emerge from financial distress on a new, more stable financial path.

1. Alabama

Riverboat docked at Riverfront Park in Montgomery, Alabama on the Alabama River

  • June Filings: 1,316
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 6,168
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 125.8

2. Mississippi

Biloxi, Mississippi Lighthouse

  • June Filings: 622
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 3,010
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 101.1

3. Tennessee

Cumberland River, Nashville, Tennessee

  • June Filings: 1,515
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 6,725
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 98.5

4. Indiana

Soldier's and Sailor's Monument, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • June Filings: 1,395
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 6,003
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 89.2

5. Kentucky

Manchester Farm, noted for its thoroughbred racehorses, Lexington, Kentucky

  • June Filings: 882
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 3,803
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 85.1

6. Arkansas

Arkansas River, Little Rock, Arkansas

  • June Filings: 543
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 2,541
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 84.2

7. Utah

Sandstone Red Rock Terrain, Moab, Utah

  • June Filings: 670
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 2,691
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 83.9

8. Ohio

Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

  • June Filings: 2,096
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 9,604
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 82.2

9. Illinois

The Old State Capitol State Historic Site, Springfield, Illinois

  • June Filings: 2,087
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 10,220
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 80.7

10. Georgia

Forsyth Fountain, Savannah, Georgia

  • June Filings: 1,779
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 8,366
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 78.8

11. Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

  • June Filings: 587
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 2,250
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 73.0

12. Missouri

State Capitol building, Jefferson City Missouri

  • June Filings: 1,059
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 4,433
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 72.2

13. Michigan

Joe 'The Fist' Lewis, Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan

  • June Filings: 1,547
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 7,021
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 70.3

14. Oklahoma

Bricktown neighborhood, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • June Filings: 640
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 2,682
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 67.8

15. Wisconsin

Lake Michigan Harbor and Oak Leaf Trail, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • June Filings: 903
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 3,938
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 67.6

16. Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • June Filings: 1,058
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 5,340
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 62.6

17. Arizona

Bronze Horse Fountain, Scottsdale, Arizona

  • June Filings: 1,061
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 4,540
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 62.4

18. Maryland

Annapolis Harbor, Maryland

  • June Filings: 772
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 3,738
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 61.8

19. Nebraska

farmland in western Nebraska

  • June Filings: 248
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 1,074
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 55.5

20. Florida

Hillsborough River, Tampa, Florida

  • June Filings: 3,149
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 11,679
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 54.4

21. Idaho

Boise, Idaho

  • June Filings: 234
  • COVID-19 Bankruptcies: 971
  • COVID-19 Filings per 100K: 54.3


Deb Gordon is a writer for MoneyGeek and the author of “The Health Care Consumer’s Manifesto (Praeger 2020),” a book about shopping for health care based on consumer research she conducted as a senior fellow in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government between 2017 and 2019. Her research and writing have been published in JAMA Network Open, the Harvard Business Review blog, USA Today, RealClear Politics, TheHill and Managed Care Magazine. She earned a B.A. in bioethics from Brown University and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.