Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Sense Debt Looming Around

Remember the movie The Sixth Sense (1999) when the kid’s classic line was “I see dead people”? When we were in Belize, on the way to the bank machine, a local was wearing a t-shirt that said “I See Debt People”. This struck me as so funny, I asked permission to take a photo.

In today’s news, neither the slogan nor the reality is very funny. A news article states that 1/3 of the American people are in debt delinquency. They don’t just owe money, but they owe so much that the account has been closed and sent to collection. I used to be a credit collection agent for Sears, Roebuck after graduating college. This is nasty stuff. 

It is incomprehensible to me how one-third of the US could be in this situation. Just to drive the point home, 77 million Americans each have debt in collection that averages to $5,200. Wowser! is an understatement!

More than 40% of the population of thirteen states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and West Virginia plus Washington, D.C. has debt in collection. We have friends in each of the italicized names. 

These statistics don't include the poor or the working poor who do not qualify for a credit file.

Those Americans who have a credit history, but are not in collection, average a total debt balance close to $54,000; much of this is attributed to a mortgage.

Hmm…this certainly explains why so many say they cannot afford to travel. My heart breaks for them, but hey, we are leaving for Cádiz, Spain on Thursday morning. 

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