Coastal towns saw the highest level of insolvencies in 2009 for the second year in a row, research indicated.
Four out of the top five towns, which suffered from the highest level of individual bankruptcies and people taking out individual voluntary arrangements or debt relief orders last year, were former port towns or holiday resorts, according to accountants Wilkins Kennedy.
Hull topped the poll with 51 people declared insolvent for every 10,000 adults in the city, more than double the level of London, which was 20 individuals per 10,000 people.
Blackpool followed closely, with 49 insolvencies per 10,000 people, then Plymouth and Eastbourne with 46 and 44 insolvencies respectively per 10,000 people.
The group, which analysed data from the insolvency service, said Plymouth, Blackpool and Hull had also topped the list for personal insolvencies in 2008, with the latest figures representing a new wave of residents who were unable to keep up with their debts.
It said many coastal towns had never fully recovered from their heyday, when the shipbuilding and commercial fishing industries were thriving.
The group said very few coastal towns had managed to replace these industries, while those that depended on tourism struggled to provide a compelling alternative to cheap overseas packages.
At the same time, a high proportion of residents in coastal towns are employed on a part-time or seasonal basis, meaning their earnings are more erratic than for people in full-time employment.
Keith Stevens, partner at Wilkins Kennedy, said: "You can look at the coastal economy through rose tinted glasses and imagine it is all like Rock, Padstow and Salcombe Bay but it's not."
"Staycations have not bailed out the coastal economy. It is a worry that some of the coastal towns seem to have become production lines for personal bankruptcy."