Bankruptcies Fall to 10-year Low, but Tennessee Still Leads Nation in going Broke

The number of Chattanoogans going broke last year fell to the lowest level in a decade while local property foreclosures dropped to the lowest number since the turn of the century. But Tennessee still leads the nation in the share of households and businesses filing for bankruptcy. And bankruptcy experts warn that rising interest rates and more borrowing and home purchases could push up bankruptcy filings in the year ahead. The number of persons and businesses seeking bankruptcy relief last year in federal bankruptcy court in Chattanooga declined for the seventh consecutive year as rising family incomes and property values, combined with lower gas prices and historically low interest rates, helped improve the balance sheet of most consumers and businesses.