Americans Are Currently Late On More Than $600 Billion In Bills
If you are in debt, you are not alone. America is a nation that was literally built on debt, and whose citizens continue to rely on debt to improve their lives. The most recent data on debt shows American citizens are $13.15 trillion in debt, and that over $600 billion of that debt is delinquent.
Debt has been a part of our country’s fabric from the start. It was Alexander Hamilton’s idea to bind the former colonies, now states, to the new nation they created after the American Revolution by having the states’ war debt transferred to the fledgling federal government. And bankruptcy laws were some of the first laws passed by Congress.
After the Revolutionary period, debt became an important tool for our nation’s growth. It was hard to purchase property or start a business without going into debt. The same remains true today. Few people can make large purchases or chart a new course for their life without taking on debt.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data keeps a close eye on consumer debt and uses it as an indicator of how well the nation’s economy is doing. The latest data goes through the end of the 2017 calendar year.
It reveals, “Aggregate household debt balances increased in the fourth quarter of 2017, for the 14th consecutive quarter, and are now $473 billion higher than the previous (2008Q3) peak of $12.68 trillion. As of December 31, 2017, total household indebtedness was $13.15 trillion, a $193 billion (1.5%) increase from the third quarter of 2017. Overall household debt is now 17.9% above the 2013Q2 trough.”
This means that consumers are taking on debt at pre-recession levels. This is a good thing because it shows that consumers are hopeful about the future, and that banks are willing to lend people money again.
The New York Fed also breaks the debt out into different categories: mortgage debt, home equity lines of credit, student loan debt, auto loan debt, and credit card debt. Another thing the Fed does is look at the amount of debt that is delinquent.
“As of December 31, 4.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency. Of the $619 billion of debt that is delinquent, $406 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”).” This just goes to show once again, that if you have debt you are struggling to pay off, you are not alone.
And you don’t need to face the consequences alone if you fall too far behind on your debt. Our firm helps people and businesses take advantage of the bankruptcy laws, helping prove that debt, bankruptcy, and the recovery process are all perfectly normal.