A third of Americans delinquent on debt


#1

More than a third of the country is in trouble when it comes to paying debts on time; 35% of Americans have debt in collections, according to a study out Tuesday from the Urban Institute, which analyzed the credit files of 7 million Americans.

Many Americans struggle with credit card debt.
More than a third of the country is in trouble when it comes to paying debts on time; 35% of Americans have debt in collections, according to a study out Tuesday from the Urban Institute, which analyzed the credit files of 7 million Americans.

That means the debt is so far past due that the account has been closed and placed in collections. This typically happens after the bill hasn’t been paid for 180 days. It also means the debt has been reported to credit bureaus and can affect someone’s credit score.
Southern states especially stand out with the highest concentration of people delinquent. In 13 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and West Virginia — and Washington, D.C., more than 40% of the population with a credit file has debt in collections. Nevada, one of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis and recession, has the highest share, at 46.9%.

usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/07/29/america-debt-loads/13152651/

Doesn’t surprise me at all. Welcome to hope and change.


#2

What are we to expect. This nation has been sold to the lowest bidder for decades in the form of outsourced jobs, mergers, and wars we should never been sent off to fight in. Take away people’s wages or lower them to poverty levels, take away a chance at the middle class entirely, crush them with medical dept, underemployment and let corporate raiders do their thing for 20 years and this is what you get. Then there is turning people into collections when they are paying bills on time, or are merely 30 days late, or because some company someplace can’t keep up good bookkeeping practices (been there with lost checks) and you have a mess.

I think we should just do as the Bible suggests. Cancel everyone’s dept and start over. Why not? Christians like to quote the Bible for everything else and say that is what should be done. Let’s try this one.


#3

The rock band Foghat sang about this back in the 1970s: Live Now - Pay Later. This isn’t a “hope and change” problem, this is a human nature and especially a greed problem.


#4

+1.

(We are not part of the 1/3.)


#5

Peace and All Good!

:amen:

Why not indeed?


#6

Let me know when that will happen so I can borrow a million dollars first. :slight_smile:


#7

Well, sort of:

I think we should just do as the Bible suggests. Take personal responsibilities for our actions. Why not? Christians like to quote the Bible for everything else and say that is what should be done. Let’s try this one.


#8

It doesn’t surprise me in the least. People live on credit anymore and when they lose their jobs, have their hours cut or expenses go up, it’s so easy to end up with more bills than money. I don’t see it getting better any time soon.


#9

How about this from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2410 Promises must be kept and contracts strictly observed to the extent that the commitments made in them are morally just. A significant part of economic and social life depends on the honoring of contracts between physical or moral persons - commercial contracts of purchase or sale, rental or labor contracts. All contracts must be agreed to and executed in good faith.

2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.

A few years ago I had a conversation with a very young banker who was astounded by some of the loan applicants he had to turn down. They wanted to borrow for fancy cars they could only afford if they got a bonus or overtime. When he suggested they buy a less expensive car, they cursed him out in front of other customers. There are a lot of those people in the 35%.


#10

:thumbsup: Exactly…too many perpetrators claim to be victims. Most often its not the government, its not the economy, its not bad luck, but rather, its poor decision making!


#11

While that sounds nice (or not), let’s be real for a second.

  1. Much of that debt was taken in good faith, with eyes wide open. Consumer spending statistics and credit versus cash purchaes over the last twenty years will tell you most of those underwater ended up there unnecessarily. In the majority of the cases, we have no one to blame but ourselves. In some cases, clearly there has been advatage taken by the usurious and greedy.

  2. Do you know how deeply held debts are? Many creditors and lenders are indiivudals. Many are businesses. Many are governments. You can’t simply waive the money that is owed to someone else without forcing that person to now pay for it.

If a small town bank lends you money for your startup business, you can’t just “call it even” without putting the bank out of business. Money is tied to basic mathematical principles. It doesn’t just disappear off a balance sheet; someone has to account for it eventually.

  1. A plan like this would forever freeze lending institutions, or drive interest rates SO high (due to the potential for the lender to have their credit erased, thus making lending even riskier) that all mortgage and business loans would dry up. I am not so concerned about the mortgage end, because saving is a good thing, but no business lending would topple the small business market in America, likely double the current unemployment mess, and stagnate the economy even further.

Not to mention the biblical principles Trader mentions as well.


#12

The reason Americans are in debt is because we have a government, and financial system, that encourages massive borrowing and spending and a tax code that discourages savings, investment, and work. All the while, the Fed is pumping cheap money into the economy and keeping interest rates extremely low.


#13

Live within your means. Before the unaffordable care act, I had money set aside for ‘nonessential purchases.’ I now have zero. Before 2008, and the carefully engineered Wall Street global financial collapse (yeah, housing valuations would just keep rising forever), I would consider spending $50 or $100 on something. Forget it.

So, what little I do save goes into my ‘cash on hand, fix the car’ money drawer. Right now, enough for a starter or a new tire.

And banks around the world are paying up - now - for their ‘financial indiscretions’ during a certain time period, and still trying to get around a few rules in a few cases.

Peace,
Ed


#14

And I have no doubt that you would find someone who would let you borrow a million dollars without any collateral or credit.


#15

Uh, I’ll take a half million.

Ed :slight_smile:


#16

Good post. People tend to forget we have a massive forgiveness program already; it’s called bankruptcy (or in more palatable terms, reorganization) and it hurts a lot of people as well, though public sentiment seldom favors investors and savers.


closed #17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.