Many people living in southern states experience fewer opportunities for higher education, and statistics indicate a lower employment rate in this region of the country. As a result, many residents rely on credit to help supplement their low incomes. Accruing significant amounts of debt can be detrimental for workers as wage garnishment is more easily put into place by creditors in states such as Tennessee.
The strict laws regarding garnishment in this state could contribute to the fact that it has the highest bankruptcy rate in the country. Because losing wages can have a considerably negative impact on a household, employees with debt could be more likely to file for bankruptcy to help alleviate their difficult financial situation. Bankruptcy allows individuals whose situations qualify to find relief from their debt before creditors can garnish wages or repossess property.
Though Tennessee has the highest bankruptcy rate, recent statistics have shown that there have been significantly fewer filings this year, continuing a decrease that has been spanning the past four years. As the economy has been seeing improvement, residents have been taking on less credit to help ends meet. Reports state that the number of people looking for help from Consumer Credit Counseling has been reduced by over half compared to that number in 2010.
As the improvements continue, however, the state could also see more residents becoming optimistic about financial situations and taking out more loans and credit. It is important for those who do take on credit to understand the situation they could find themselves in if they are unable to adequately handle accumulated debt. If state residents are facing difficulties in paying off credit balances and want to avoid wage garnishment, bankruptcy could be a viable option for avoiding such action. Tennessee laws regarding bankruptcy could help interested parties determine whether they may qualify as they hope to stand on more stable financial ground.
Source: timesfreepress.com, Fewer Chattanoogans going broke, Dave Flessner, Oct. 12, 2013