Miami-Dade bankruptcy filings second highest in nation in January

Miami-Dade County ranked second among the nation’s 12 largest counties in bankruptcy filings in the first month of the year, according to a report by Columbia Law School Professor Ronald Mann.

Chicago’s Cook County came in first with 691 filings per million adults, substantially more than double the national average of 322 filings per million adults. Miami-Dade followed closely, with 626 filings per million adults. Four California counties: Riverside (617); Los Angeles (441); San Diego (425); and Orange (422) came in next.

Two New York counties had the lowest filing rates, according to the report. Queens was second-to-last with 143 filings per million adults while Kings County (Brooklyn) came in last with 119 filings per million adults.

Mann’s report, compiled for the National Bankruptcy Research Center, also found that national bankruptcy filings in January were higher than expected, considering the first month of the year traditionally has the lowest filing rate. Filings were down only slightly from December 2012, with 76,000 filings compared to 77,000.

“Coming on the heels of news of an economic contraction in the last quarter of 2012, bankruptcy filings in January were surprisingly high,” Mann wrote in his monthly report. “The January filings raise a likelihood of worsening filings to come in 2013.”