Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck United States

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections' 570

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-cool-kids-are-doing-it dept.
New submitter meeotch writes: According to a new study by the Urban Institute, 35% of U.S. adults with a credit history (91% of the adult population of the U.S.) have debt "in collections" — a status generally not acquired until payments are at least 180 days past due. Debt problems seem to be worse in the South, with states hovering in the 40%+ range, while the Northeast has it better, at less than 30%. The study's authors claim their findings actually underrepresent low-income consumers, because "adults without a credit file are more likely to be financially disadvantaged."

Oddly, only 5% of adults have debt 30-180 days past due. This latter fact is partially accounted for by the fact that a broader range of debt can enter "in collections" status than "past due" status (e.g. parking tickets)... But also perhaps demonstrates that as one falls far enough along the debt spiral, escape becomes impossible. Particularly in the case of high-interest debt such as credit cards — the issuers of which cluster in states such as South Dakota, following a 1978 Supreme Court ruling that found that states' usury laws did not apply to banks headquartered in other states.

Even taking into account the folks who lost a parking ticket under their passenger seat, 35% is a pretty shocking number. Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"? How about some napkin math on the debt spiral?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @05:22AM (#47564177)

    "Yes, because in communistic countries, you don't get to keep what you make. I fled one of those countries. My income tax was 52% and the sales tax was 21%."

    Ah, you escaped from the Netherlands. Good on you, mate.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

Working...