Tags: People | Debt | Trouble | Help

USA Today: Fewer People in Debt Trouble Seeking Help

By    |   Friday, 14 Oct 2011 12:48 PM

Even as more Americans are piling on debt, fewer are seeking counseling or other kinds of relief to try and get their finances back in order, USA Today reports.

Consumers accumulated $18.4 billion more in credit card debt in the second quarter than they did in the first quarter, according to a new study from CardHub.com, USA Today reports. That is up 66 percent from the same quarter in 2010 and up 368 percent from two years ago.

Yet, USA Today reports that fewer people are seeking the help of credit counselors, signing up for debt repayment plans, or filing for bankruptcy.

Reuters says that US households are more indebted than their counterparts in Austria, Germany, Spain, France and even Greece — which is on the verge of defaulting on its government debt.

The USA Today article points to several possible explanations for Americans decreasing interest in solving their debt problems. Perhaps people have developed a bailout a mentality or it maybe it's the fees for counselors and bankruptcy lawyers.

"For people who have no income and assets, there is no point in filing for bankruptcy," Robert Lawless, law professor at University of Illinois, told USA Today.

One thing that is becoming more certain is that Americans are growing increasingly frustrated and pessimistic about the nation's economic conditions. And, it may take more than individual debt strategies to change those circumstances.

Some economists suggest that consumer debt loads are one of the primary factors preventing growth of the U.S. economy, Reuters reported.

Federal policy makers, they suggest, should broker what amounts to an out-of-court settlement between institutional bond investors, banks and consumer advocates — essentially, a "great haircut" to jump-start the economy.

L. Randall Wray, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told Reuters, "We need debt relief and jobs and until we get these two things, I think recovery is impossible."

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Even as more Americans are piling on debt, fewer are seeking counseling or other kinds of relief to try and get their finances back in order, USA Today reports. Consumers accumulated $18.4 billion more in credit card debt in the second quarter than they did in the first...
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