More companies are filing for bankruptcy across much of Texas this year, and the screeching halt to activity in drilling country appears to have something to do with it.
But one region has escaped a spike in bankruptcies: North Texas.
That’s according to data compiled by Androvett Legal Media, a Dallas-based public relations firm that focuses on legal issues. Some experts say the trend illustrates North Texas’ diverse economy.
In 2015, federal bankruptcy filings surged by 31 percent the state’s Eastern District, 38 percent in the Southern District (which includes Houston) and a whopping 63 percent in the Western District of Texas (which includes Austin and San Antonio).
Meanwhile bankruptcy filings this year in the North District — encompassing Dallas — continued a steady drop since 2011.
Here’s a look at the trends in each district over the past five years, according to Androvett’s data:
|Eastern District||Northern District||Southern District||Western District|
Yvette Ostolaza, managing partner in the Dallas office of the international law firm Sidley Austin, said the statewide increase in bankruptcies is “definitely energy related,” as plummeting prices — now hovering in the mid-$30 range — challenge producers and service companies.
Though many energy companies are headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, she said, the region’s broader economy is weathering the storm, and the bankruptcy filings reflect that.
“Our economy in Dallas is way more diversified, so we’re not seeing as many issues,” Ostolaza.
Still, she cautioned that regional filings only tell part of the story, since larger companies are often incorporated in Delaware or New York and would seek bankruptcy relief in those states.