Bankruptcy filings in Oklahoma declined by as much as 10 percent last year in some parts of the state, according to data released this week by the U.S. Courts system.
Bankruptcy filings for the Western District of Oklahoma, which includes Oklahoma City and most of the western half of the state, dropped from 7,315 in 2011 to 6,574 in 2012, a decrease of 10.1 percent.
Cristy Cash director of counseling for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma, said she believes that low unemployment rates in the state have fewer people looking to bankruptcy as a way to solve their debt problems.
“People are looking for other ways to pay their debt other than bankruptcy,” Cash said.
“I think the reasons for that are that the economy is improving and people have renewed hope and more income.”
In Oklahoma's Northern District, which includes Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma, bankruptcy filings declined from 3,796 in 2011 to 3,534 in 2012, down 6.9 percent.
There were 1,862 bankruptcy filings in 2012 in Oklahoma's Eastern District, which encompasses southeastern Oklahoma, down from 2,008 filings in 2011.
Nationally, bankruptcy filings declined 13 percent in 2012 from the previous year, from about 1.4 million filings in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2012.
A local breakdown of business versus nonbusiness bankruptcy filings for 2012 has yet to be released by the U.S. Courts system.
Nationally, personal bankruptcies declined 13 percent in 2012 from the previous year, from about 1.3 million new filings in 2011 to 1.18 million filings in 2012.
People are looking for other ways to pay their debt other than bankruptcy.”
director of counseling for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma