Bankruptcy filings in Nevada continue to rise

The number of bankruptcy filings in Nevada continued to grow in October as more individuals and businesses sought relief from creditors because of the economic downturn.

Filings increased 60.2 percent in October to 2,789 from 1,741 last year, according to the latest numbers posted Wednesday by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Nevada.

There have been 24,758 filings in the state through Oct. 31, 34.6 percent more than the 18,389 filed all of last year. In all of 2007, there were only 10,874 filings.

Nevada ranks first in the nation for the number of bankruptcies filed per capita, and is the state with the fastest rising bankruptcy rate, according to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records system.

Chapter 7 liquidations account for the bulk of the filings — 2,021 statewide in October and 17,656 in the first 10 months of the year. Those represent a 58.3 percent increase in October and 38.6 percent more than filed all of last year.

October recorded the largest number of Chapter 7 filings in a month since federal bankruptcy law changes took effect in 2005. The new bankruptcy rules make it harder for individuals to file and require individuals to repay more of their debt.

Chapter 7 cases are filed by individuals, married couples and businesses.

Chapter 13 cases, which require court-ordered repayments under three- to five-year plans, are also up this year with 6,742 cases filed through October compared with 5,469 filed in all of 2008.

Chapter 11 filings, in which businesses seek protection while trying to reorganize their debts, increased. There have been 360 Chapter 11 filings this year, 21 percent more than all reorganization cases that have been filed in the past two years.

Some of the high-profile Chapter 11 cases that have been filed this year include locals gaming company Station Casinos, developer Jim Rhodes’ real estate companies and the 2,675-acre Park Highlands master plan in North Las Vegas.

The Southern Division of the court in Las Vegas, which is overseen by three of the four Nevada judges, received 2,364 filings in October. The number is a 58.2 percent increase from the 1,494 filed same time last year.

The Southern Division has received 20,866 filings through October, 32.2 percent more than received in all of 2008.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at or 702-477-3893.