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One Florida city ranks among highest in nation for economic distress

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Bankruptcy

The financial advice website Wallethub recently published a study in which it tried to pinpoint areas of the country where economic distress is the most common. One Florida city made the top 10.

Researchers looked at the 100 biggest urban areas and compared them using a long list of criteria such as average credit scores and the number of bankruptcy filings in 2023, as well as the number of people who are considered in economic distress. For the purposes of this study, Wallethub defined economic distress through looking at credit accounts that were in forbearance or had their payments deferred. The study also looked at more general data, such as the number of residents who had searched for “bankruptcy” or “debt” on Google.

After crunching the numbers, researchers ranked the 100 cities according to their findings. Jacksonville came in at number 10, meaning that the city has one of the highest rates of economic distress in the country.

In some ways, these findings were surprising. According to some sources, the cost of living in Florida is 7% below the national average, and 5% below the average in Florida. Housing is also less expensive than the national average and actually fell by 1.5%  in 2023.

However, high debt and low credit scores — as well as high numbers of people looking up “debt” on Google — put the city ahead of most urban areas in the study.

Not just Jacksonville

Of course, these problems aren’t limited to Jacksonville. Indeed, bankruptcy courts in Florida reported a steady increase in both business and personal bankruptcy filings last year. Non-business filings rose 16% in 2023.

These numbers may signal something bad about Florida’s economy as a whole, but for the individuals involved, they signal something else. When people in economic distress file for bankruptcy, they take a big step toward getting out of a financial crisis so they can build a better future for themselves and their families.


Kingcade & Garcia | A Miami Law Firm