Last year was a brutal one for Americans filing for personal bankruptcy, as long term unemployment and dire housing prices caught up to those who had managed to stay afloat. In 2010, personal bankruptcy filings topped 1.5 million -- a 9% increase from 2009, and the highest level since 2005, when a revamp of the law took effect -- according to the National Bankruptcy Research Center.
The NBRC report examines the spread of bankruptcy filings across America, noting: "Through the course of 2010 the filing rates have become increasingly disparate throughout the country. The highest filing rates are concentrated in the Southwest and a swathe cutting up from the Southeast."
The Wall Street Journal has a chart comparing state by state 2010 personal bankruptcy filings with the previous year. Check out the states with the largest increase in personal bankruptcy filings and see which ones you're surprised to see on top.