Debt Collection Affects 1 in 3 Americans, Disproportionately Affects Non-Whites, Says Report

debt collection in americaA report from the Urban Institute titled “Debt in America” shows that 1 in 3 Americans have debt in collection. Among non-whites, almost 1 in 2 (45%) have debt in collections.

The median amount of debt each person has is $1,450, with whites in debt having slightly more debt than non-whites.

Data about debt collection from the report comes from multiple sources, including a random sample of deidentified, consumer-level records from a major credit bureau, as well as estimates from summary tables of the US Census Bureau.

The report contains an interactive debt-collection map that lets you zoom in on how Boston (or any other area) compares.

For instance, 31% of people in Suffolk County have debt in collections, 24% in Essex County, 17% in Middlesex, 16%in Norfolk County, and 24% in Plymouth County.

This report not only gives interesting statistical data about debt collection in general, but it also shows how non-whites have a disparately large number of debts in collection.

As a whole, Massachusetts has less debt collection, with 23% of people in collections, versus the national average of 33%.

However, when looking at non-whites only, Massachusetts fares slightly worse: 46% of non-whites have debts in collection versus the national average of 45%.

This report shows how debt collection is still a major hurdle facing Americans, and especially people of color. Often, debt collectors use their most abusive tactics when dealing with people who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged.

This makes it all the more important to use consumer-protection laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Consumer Protection Act, called Chapter 93A, to stop them.

Culik Law has blogged extensively on how to stop debt collection harassment.

And, if you have been sued by a debt collector, Culik Law can often stop debt collection lawsuits.

If you are being harassed by a debt collector, contact Culik Law today to see if we can help.

Josef Culik

Josef Culik

Attorney Joe Culik has built his reputation on helping people and has dedicated his practice in Boston, Massachusetts to consumer protection, employee rights, and individual personal injury. He has advocated for individuals against some of the largest companies in America and has a passion for helping people uphold their rights against impossible odds. He has filed both individual and class-action lawsuits against most of the major banks, against some of the biggest debt collectors and credit reporting agencies, as well as insurance companies and corporate employers. Contact Joe