Bankruptcy filings nationwide dropped 7 percent in April, continuing a downward trend that began at the start of the year - though Nevada still had the highest rate despite a 15 percent decline since 2010, according to an analysis by Columbia Law School Professor Ronald Mann.
The bankruptcy total for April was 135,000, down from 145,000 in March, and marked the fourth consecutive month that filings have decreased compared to 2010, said Mann, who compiled the figures for the National Bankruptcy Research Center.
"These are encouraging numbers given that, from 2007 to 2010, every month's filings were higher than the filings for the same month in the previous year," Mann said.
Nevada remains the state with the nation's highest filing rate on a population-adjusted basis, at 4,123 per million adults, almost twice the national filing rate of 2,063 per million.
The actual number of filings was 7,966. At the same time, Mann said, Nevada's filing rate has dropped 15 percent compared to 2010.
"The disparity underscores how out of line filings in Nevada were last year, when they were more than 50 percent higher than those in any other state for much of the year," Mann said.
The other states with the highest filing rates per million residents in April were Georgia at 3,412, Utah at 3,291, Tennessee at 3,272 and California at 3,017. The lowest rate was in Alaska at 690.
While the nationwide trend has indicated lower filing rates, Delaware and Utah have seen their rates increase more than 10 percent since last year.
In contrast, some states experienced rapid declines in filings, Mann said, with a 33 percent drop in Vermont, 21 percent in West Virginia and 19 percent in Iowa.