Twisted dollar bill

That’s right. According to CNN Money, an Urban Institute study estimated 77 million Americans with credit histories — or one in every three — has debt collectors on their tail.

Taking into account non-mortgage debt, including credit card and utility bills, car loans, medical expenses and child support payments, the average amount of debt in collections  was $5,200, ranging from a tiny $25 to am astronomical $125,000.

Nevada residents topped the list with 47% of its residents having an average of $7,198 debt in collections. At the bottom were North Dakota citizens with only 19% in debt collection.

The Northeast, with 30% of its population in the debt collection stage, beat the South, which had the highest percent of people — 44% — in that stage.

Credit card debt has to be 6 months old before it’s turned over to collections. Other outstanding bills vary in the amount of time it takes before debt collectors step in. Creditors have three choices: charge off the debt and sell it to a debt buyer, put the account into default or attempt to collect either through an in house department or third party debt collector.

The report didn’t mention WHY Americans are now suffering such high debt loads. Can it be connected to all those jobless Americans who have failed to find work for so long they have given up the job search? Now considered officially out of the work force, they no longer show up in the country’s jobless count.

But these people are still there, still accumulating bills. How are they living?  How are they supporting their families? Once their jobless benefits have evaporated and the well has gone dry, where is their money coming from? Can they be linked with this big jump in unpaid bills and credit card debt?  It’s hard not to wonder…


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