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When Bad Things Happen to Good People ...

Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

One-third of Americans are subject to debt collections

It is a story that many Americans are familiar with by now: Since the official end of the recent recession in 2009, families have continued to struggle under debt. And even though the economy is improving, with lowering unemployment rates and reduced amounts of credit card debt, a large number of Americans are still struggling to pay all of their bills on time.

According to a new study by the Urban Institute, more than one-third of Americans still have debts that have been referred to a collection agency. The largest portion of these unpaid bills are medical debt and student loans, which taken together constitute more than half of such past-due amounts. Credit cards make up only about 10 percent overall. 

Southern states have a much higher proportion of these bad debts than the rest of the country. Some of the factors causing this trend are the increased number of people who are working in low-paying jobs and an increase in the number of retired people who are living on fixed incomes. Those who find themselves in such circumstances can often only make their incomes stretch so far.

One result of this phenomenon is that there is currently a huge collection industry in our country, which employs over 140,000 people and collects more than $50 billion in past due debts each year.

There is help for Oklahoma residents who are struggling under unmanageable medical, student loan or credit card debt. For those who find themselves in such a situation, it may make sense to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to learn your options about debt relief.

Source: News9.com, “Correction: Debt study story,” Josh Boak, July 30, 2014

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