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Bankruptcy filings rose slightly last year in Nebraska, the first increase in eight years.

According to statistics posted on the website of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska, there were 4,044 filings last year, which was up 1.2 percent from 2017.

It was the first year-over-year increase in bankruptcy filings in the state since 2010, although the 2018 number was still the second-lowest yearly total since 2005.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said signs point to the increase being due to continued weakness in the farm economy.

"It is clear that Nebraska's increase in overall bankruptcies is tied to weak farm income and declining financial conditions related to farm income," Goss said in an email.

Goss said the two monthly economic surveys he compiles point to the rest of the state's economy continuing to expand at a "positive, but somewhat slower pace."

Chapter 12 filings, which are farm-related bankruptcies, have skyrocketed over the past few years, although numbers still remain relatively small. There were 27 in Nebraska in 2018, which was up from 20 in 2017. Chapter 12 filings have more than tripled since 2015, when there were eight.

Chapter 11 filings, which allow businesses to reorganize under bankruptcy protection, also have risen sharply over the past few years. There were 26 in 2018, which is up from 20 in 2017, 16 in 2016 and nine in 2015.

Nebraska's numbers were in contrast to national bankruptcy filings, which fell 2 percent compared with 2017, according to data provided by Epiq Systems. That was the ninth consecutive year-over-year drop in bankruptcies nationally.

Despite some high-profile corporate bankruptcies, particularly among large retail chains, Chapter 11 filings nationally fell by 5 percent.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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