When the economy is a bust, business is booming. Unfortunately, the business that’s booming is in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, says the chief judge there.

According to the Jacksonville Daily Record, Judge Paul Glenn says of the bankruptcy court, “If I were a CEO, I’d say sales were up.”

At a speech in Jacksonville, Glenn gave a sobering statistic on the Middle District that includes Orlando, Jacksonville, Ft. Meyers, Ocala and Tampa: it is second in the country only to Los Angeles in bankruptcy filings for the year that ended in June.

The Middle District contains over half of Florida’s population, and 35 of its 67 counties.

The Daily Record says the state’s areas most heavily dependent on tourism have also been hit hard by the disintegrating real estate market as tourism has dropped. The real estate collapse and foreclosure crisis also hit hard at the fastest growing parts of the state. Unfortunately, that includes much of the Middle District.

The District had a whopping 66,375 bankruptcy cases in the 12 months ending in June; the Los Angeles area nearly doubled that with 129,014.

Judge Glenn also said statistical trends don’t hold the promise of a quick turnaround: if projections hold true, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 personal bankruptcies, along with business and farmer reorganizations, will continue to rise.

Glenn also talked about the Florida legislature’s recent economic overview, issued in early November. It, too, didn’t paint a pretty picture of the state with projections of slow job growth, uneven overall economic growth and a rise in foreclosures.

Source: Jacksonville Daily Record, “Judge expects bankruptcies to continue rising,” November 19, 2010