Ohioans Filing Bankruptcy Since 2006 Skyrocket

OhioNews Bureau

COLUMBUS, OHIO: New statistics drawn from the two federal bankruptcy courts in Ohio show an 80 percent increase in the number of Buckeyes going bust since the spring of 2006.

The report, issued by Bob Lawless and found at Credit Slips, a nationally respected blog about credit and bankruptcy, is based on bankruptcy data from March 2008 that revealed that the US average filing rate went over 4,000 per day for the first time since the 2005 bankruptcy law was passed.

Of the ninety federal judicial districts in the 50 states, Ohio’s Southern and Northern districts ranked 49th (representing an 81.2% increase) and 51st (representing an 80% increase), respectively, in the number of bankruptcy filings reported from April 2006 to March 2008.

Lawless aid picking another month could produce different results. But his point was made, nonetheless.

OHIO'S SLIPPERY SLIDE DOWNWARD

But Ohio has been on an economic slide for a long time. Over a year ago, in July, a poll on Ohio conducted by Quinnipiac University showed that Ohioans were feeling glum about their economic future.

Later in 2007, Ohio's Greatest Home Newspaper reported on the demons that were gnawing on the pocketbooks and spirits of Ohioans.

"In Columbus, 20.7 percent of the population lived under the poverty level of $20,444 for a family of four. The poverty level is about what one worker paid $10 an hour would earn in a year.

"Poverty rates ranged from 21.4 percent to 27.8 percent for Akron, Toledo, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton. Youngstown was dead last for its size in the state with 30.5 percent living below the poverty level.

"The state's poverty rate of 12.1 percent is slightly better than the national rate. But among Ohioans under the age of 18, about 18.6 percent, or 515,000, were living in poverty. The national rate was 17.4 percent." [Columbus Dispatch, US Census]

OHIO IN MIDDLE OF PACK, OTHER AREAS WORSE

By aggregating or grouping judicial districts into deciles, a method Lawless says helps rank the degree of increase in bankruptcy filings found all districts, Ohio falls into the 6th decile of the 10 he has color coded.

Nevada leads the nation with a 283.8 percent increase, while Wyoming came in 90th with a meager, by comparison, 9.3 percent increase. He said all four California districts are in the top 10 and Arizona holds down the 2nd decile. And all three judicial districts in Florida were in the top three deciles.

In geographic terms, Lawless said that New England and mid-Atlantic states stood our as pockets of increasing bankruptcy, possibly due to their high incomes and the desire of filers to protect more of their assets through bankruptcy filings.

It comes as now surprise that bankruptcy filings have taken their toll, the winds of Hurricane Katrina, on the gulf coast states.

John Michael Spinelli is a former Ohio Statehouse government and political reporter and business columnist. He now serves as the OhioNews Bureau Chief for ePluribus Media Journal. Find ONB archives here.

If readers have a news tip or story idea about Ohio politics or government, contact the OhioNews Bureau at: ohionews@epluribusmedia.org

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Thank you for posting this information. Too bad this information is not splashed on the front burner via national news. I must admit that I spend a whole lot of time in stateline.org checking to see what is happening around our country....and its encouraging to find that some governors are really stepping up.

because American media doesn't like negative stories about how difficult life is becoming for many of us, how grim the future looks in Iraq or how broken their government -- and the media by extension -- is.

I'd like to wear my party hat and clink glasses into the wee hours of the morning, but the real news, as I see it, is not a pretty site, despite what the Panglossians of the world think.

For us Ohio natives, the Buckeye State is in the fight of its life. We had about 85,000 house foreclosures in Ohio last year, and there's no reason to think this number will improve in 2008.

But based on the inane questions asked by ABC in last night's Democratic presidential debate, don't hold your breathe waiting for the mainstream media to slough off the ridiculous so they can focus on the serious.

even spare "we the people" a passing thought is during election season. And this election season has been so full of dramedy that they have been able to bypass even that passing thought. [sigh]

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Darell Smith/SacBee: More in Valley going bust

The Bee is a McClatchy property. Also had an article on falling housing prices today. Regionals are carrying the news, but you're right, national news is not.

"The number of businesses filing for bankruptcy increased by 44 percent in 2007, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Last year, 28,322 businesses filed for bankruptcy, compared with 19,695 in 2006. While many speculate about how bad the economic downturn will be, bankruptcy lawyers say it's practically getting worse by the day."

Link to the full article:Courts post sharp rise in bankruptcies

There is no doubt that living in ties of recession is hard. Bankruptcy filings for large business firms have become pandemic across the globe, including U.S. firms that have traditionally been mainstays.  Some bankruptcy filings came as surprises and some not so much.  For instance, Gottschalks, a clothing retail chain on the West Coast, Hartmax, the tailored clothing company that President Obama gets his suits from, and Magna Entertainment, the company that owns the racetrack that hosts the Preakness.   A payday loan couldn't save them. More filings are expected to follow.  Some of these smaller firms weren't given the option of debt relief from the taxpayers, but many more bankruptcy filings are sure to follow.