Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Study Says 35% of Americans Facing Debt Collectors

According to a recent study released by the Urban Institute, more than 35% of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies.  These adults owe an average of $5,178.00. The full study can be found here.

The study reveals that the East South Central census region (which includes Kentucky) has the second-highest percentage of people with a debt in collections, with 41.3% of people having an account in collections.

Debt collectors do not just collect unpaid credit cards, but a wide-range of debts such as:
  • cell phones
  • utilities
  • gym memberships
  • book clubs
Every case is different, and if you are considering bankruptcy you should consult an attorney, but most of these types of debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. 

It is also important to familiarize yourself with the protections offered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which applies to debt collectors, and limits the actions they can take in trying to collect a debt.  I have litigated a large number of FDCPA cases, and it is vital that debt collectors be held accountable for violations of this important federal law.