by: Mark Fritz, Benzinga Staff Writer
A bloodbath in retail, a shortage of seasonal farmworkers, two bummer summers at the box office, a meltdown in bridal gowns and the flatlining of crude oil prices:
This is the stuff of bankruptcy.
Whether up close and personal or global in scale, underwater businesses and laid-off workers are often driven to desperation by debt. Bankruptcy is the escape hatch both use to stiff creditors and bolt, or gather their wits and rebuild.
Top 10 States Of Bankruptcy
Here, thanks to Statista, are the Top 10 states that led the nation in Chapters 7 through 13 in the 12 months ending in June.
1. California: Personal, 70,341; Business, 3,051.
From the Hollywood doldrums to the crackdown on illegal farmworkers to the sputtering startups that dwarf Silicon Valley’s successes, California rules the red ledger.
But a study this year sheds light on a relatively ignored cause of bankruptcy: municipalities that use fines and costs from local juvenile lockups to bleed money from the families of young offenders.
The University of California at Berkeley this year found that more than 50 counties charge as much as $500 a month for detention, probation supervision, electronic monitoring, drug testing and representation by a public defender.
The result? Bankruptcies by parents.
2. Illinois: Personal, 51,370; Business, 953.
Moody's in June downgraded Illinois' general obligation bonds to its lowest investment grade rating. People are talking seriously that Illinoi may be the first state to file bankruptcy.
3. Georgia: Personal, 47,171; Business, 926.
The Chaos Theory calls it the Butterfly Effect, in which the wings of a butterfly fluttering in New Mexico can create a string of events that result in a hurricane in China.
In this case, Japan’s Toshiba Corp. went into the nuclear power business by buying Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Co, which declared bankruptcy in March and laid off workers at two nuke plants in Georgia.
4. Florida: Personal, 43,012; Business, 1,684.
Alfred Angelo founded the bridal business that bore his name in the 1930s. The Delray Beach biz grew until its designs were sold by more than 1,400 retailers globally.
In a July shocker, Alfred Angelo couldn’t pay rent on its headquarters and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a full liquidation. It all came down, leaving a slew of brides left figuratively standing in their skivvies at the altar.
5. Ohio: Personal, 36,754; Business, 630.
No mall worth its loitering young loudmouths could do without The Limited, which was founded by the son of a young Russian emigre. It rode high on the mallrat hog until competition and online forced it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January and shut down its stores.
6. Tennessee: Personal, 35,415; Business 424.
Because Nashville, where dreams of stardom go to die.
7. Texas: Personal, 32,938; Business 2,640.
The Houston Chronicle reported that depressed oil prices led to a record-high 646 businesses seeking to restructure debt in the first six months of 2017, a 44 percent increase.
8. New York: Personal, 29,745; Business 1,871.
Silicon Valley tycoon Peter Thiel bankrolled former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit against Gawker Media. Gawker filed for Chapter 11 after losing a $140 million libel case.
9. Michigan: Personal, 30,093; Business 506.
Never mind Detroit declaring bankruptcy in 2015. The Tart Cherry Capital of America’s main co-op, the 78-year-old Cherry Growers Inc., filed for Chapter 11 because it failed to, after all this time, accurately read the market.
10. Alabama: Personal, 26,965; Business 275.
Lil' Lodges of Alabama went out of business this year and was forced to liquidate 23 of those tiny houses for people who want to leave a tiny carbon footprint on this tiny planet floating in the infinite expanse of existence.
© 2017 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.