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1 in 3 Americans may need debt relief from collections accounts

If you are one of the many Americans who are facing calls from collections agencies, you are not alone. Would you believe that more than one out of every three Americans has a debt or unpaid bill that has been sent to collections? Consumers fall behind on medical costs, credit cards and even student loans or gym memberships, prompting the need for comprehensive debt relief. In too many cases, though, consumers do not receive the financial help they need.

Experts say that the average amount of reported debt has eclipsed the $5,000 mark, showing a disturbing trend. Although Americans have, overall, winnowed the size of our credit card debt, the number of Washington residents and others who are facing collections has remained constant. More Americans are paying off their bills, but the percentage of those heading to collections remains the same.

This may actually be good news for some sectors of the economy, according to experts, as the collections industry employs more than 100,000 workers nationwide, and they recover billions of dollars in debts every year. However, for those who are facing the financial challenges associated with overdue debt, this is anything but a positive spin. A large percentage of those suffering through financial woes are overdue on their medical expenses or student loan debt, with credit cards actually making up a relatively small percentage of collections accounts.

Debt relief is available for those who are struggling with repayment of overdue balances. Filing for bankruptcy is one debt relief option to address medical debt and other personal expenditures. Every person's financial situation is different; a variety of options may exist for Washingtonians facing money troubles.

Source: The State, "Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors" Josh Boak, Associated Press, Jul. 29, 2014

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