According to a study released on July 29 by the Urban Institute, 35 percent of Americans have debt that has gone to collection. The study reportedly looked at 7 million credit profiles and found that a large number of those in debt lived in southern states such as Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama. For an account to go into collections, it has to be 180 days or more past due.
Overall, the state of Nevada had the highest number of people with accounts in collections at 46.9 percent, and that number was attributed to the poor economy and the fact that the housing market in the state was hit hard in recent years. Those who have debt in collections owe an average of $5,200, and that debt includes everything from credit card debt to child support or medical bills that were not paid.
Those who analyzed the study were quick to point out that the data is representative only of people who have a credit file. This means that lower income people may not be represented in the data, and payday loans were not considered as a debt for the purposes of the study. It was also stated that 70 percent of all debt held by Americans was in the form of home loans.
Debtors who are having trouble paying their bills may wish to consider filing bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to guide an individual through the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy process in an effort find the best debt relief solution for that individual. Bankruptcy attorneys may also be able to negotiate debt relief solutions with creditors without having to file for bankruptcy at all, and this can protect a person’s credit score while debt is paid down.
Source: Freep, “A third of Americans delinquent on debt, study says”, Hadley Malcolm , July 29, 2014