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

Americans are under financial strain from COVID-19, especially in these states.

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, the 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. These 21 states have the highest personal bankruptcy rates of the COVID-19 era.

1. Alabama

Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama Road Sign along Interstate 10 in Robertsdale, Alabama USA, near the State Border with Florida
Allard One / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,316
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 6,168
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 125.8

2. Mississippi

Colorful shrimp fishing boats docked in harbor at Biloxi, Mississippi
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 622
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 3,010
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 101.1

3. Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown city skyline on the Cumberland River.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,515
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 6,725
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 98.5

4. Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline over Soliders' and Sailors' Monument at dusk.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,395
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 6,003
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 89.2

5. Kentucky

Beautiful chestnut horses on a farm in Central Kentucky at sunset
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 882
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 3,803
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 85.1

6. Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas, USA downtown skyline on the Arkansas River.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 543
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 2,541
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 84.2

7. Utah

Salt Lake City panoramic
Joe Guetzloff / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 670
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 2,691
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 83.9

8. Ohio

State of Ohio flags waving in front of the Statehouse in Columbus, OH
aceshot1 / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 2,096
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 9,604
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 82.2

9. Illinois

Chicago Skyline aerial view skyscrapers by the beach , vintage colors
marchello74 / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 2,087
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 10,220
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 80.7

10. Georgia

A stunning, long path lined with ancient live oak trees draped in spanish moss in the warm, late afternoon near Savannah, Georgia.
Serge Skiba / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,779
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 8,366
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 78.8

11. Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign at dusk.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 587
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 2,250
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 73.0

12. Missouri

st. louis arch
James Roblee / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,059
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 4,433
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 72.2

13. Michigan

Beautiful Lake Huron Sunrise, Tawas Point State Park, Michigan USA Snow and ice mix with the drifting sand making this a pretty winter scene.
John McCormick / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,547
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 7,021
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 70.3

14. Oklahoma

A scene from rural Oklahoma. Oil pumps and hay bales in the prairie.
Richard G Smith / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 640
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 2,682
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 67.8

15. Wisconsin

Downtown Madison, Wisconsin
Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 903
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 3,938
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 67.6

16. Virginia

A roadside sign welcomes travelers along a rural road to the state of Virginia
William Silver / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,058
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 5,340
  • CCOVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 62.6

17. Arizona

Sunset view of the desert and mountains near Phoenix, Arizona, USA
JeniFoto / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 1,061
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 4,540
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 62.4

18. Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland, USA downtown view over Main Street with the State House.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 772
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 3,738
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 61.8

19. Nebraska

Nebraska Windmill in the Sandhills Preserve at Sunset
KSwinicki / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 248
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 1,074
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 55.5

20. Florida

South Beach, Miami Beach. Florida.
Mia2you / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 3,149
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 11,679
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 54.4

21. Idaho

Spectacular aerial view of Shoshone Falls or Niagara of the West, Snake River, Idaho, United States.
Benny Marty / Shutterstock

  • June filings: 234
  • COVID-19 bankruptcies: 971
  • COVID-19 filings for every 100,000 residents: 54.3

Deb Gordon is a writer for MoneyGeek.