According to a recent article http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2014/10/bankruptcy-filings-are-low-but-not-everywhere.html by Bob Lawless, the District of Utah ranks 8th out of 90 judicial districts in the number of bankruptcy cases per 1,000 people.
The image on the left shows the filing rate per 1,000 people between October 2013 and September 2014 in various judicial districts.
Now the article does NOT explain why there is a variation by district, not even when there is gross disparity between two districts with the same economics. It hypothesizes that it may be in part due to the legal culture of the community. For instance, some states don’t allow wage garnishment, or have wage garnishment curtailed.
On the other hand, here in Utah, collectors have a veritable cornucopia of tools available to collect and is a fairly creditor-friendly state. If you fall behind on a debt in Utah, creditors can get a judgment against you and then garnish wages, or attach your home, levy bank accounts or tax refunds, or even do a writ of execution and come into your house, take your’s son’s xBox, and sell it to pay your debts. In other states, you can protect your tax refund, not in Utah. In California, you get a $75,000 wildcard exemption to protect anything you darn well please, even that bag of ancient Roman coins on the kitchen table — not in Utah.
Quite possibly, the pro-creditor laws here allow creditors to more actively pursue debtors, forcing more debtors into bankruptcy. But honestly, I don’t know.