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Despite economy's recovery, many Americans are buried in debt

Although the economy seems to be improving, many families in Cincinnati are still struggling. Many households are still attempting to recover from a stint of unemployment, and this often means struggling to get on top of bills that have gone into debt collection. For many families, they are in too deep to recover.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most recent report, 30 million Americans currently have accounts in debt collection. This represents nearly 15 percent of all adults across the country. A great number of these debts date back to the recession.

Families who are hard-pressed to stay on top of basic necessities and bills may find themselves turning to credit cards, and this can quickly spiral out of control. In the short term, they may only be able to afford a minimum payment, and over time they may find that as this payment increases they cannot even afford it anymore. Such a cycle tends to result in bill being sent to collections agencies.

Complaints from consumers to government agencies about debt collectors have spiked in the last 10 years, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stating that debt collector cases now represent the highest portion of complaints received. The three kinds of complaint categories include aggressive tactics, wrongful pursuits, and fear tactics.

There are certain behaviors that are not allowed on the part of debt collectors. If you believe that you are being harassed by a debt collector, you may want to talk to an attorney about your rights. It is likely in your best interests to educate yourself about your rights and to file complaints if a debt collector has crossed the line. An Ohio attorney may also be able to assist you in understanding your rights and options to get out of debt.

Source: Fox Business, “Don’t Let Debt Collectors Ruin Your Life,” Peter Andrew, May 7, 2014

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