According to some within the industry, debt-relief service companies, such as those that offer consolidation loans or consumer credit counseling, are finding it more difficult to sell their products currently. Insiders cite consumer protection agencies, which are making it more difficult to offer services that aren’t in the true best interest of the debtor, and the fact that people seem to be avoiding debt more and more as reasons for this trend.
According to TransUnion, current rates of severe delinquency related to unsecured debt are about 1.43 percent. That’s down from 2.76 percent at the same time in 2009. Total amount owned on such accounts is also down since 2009, though balances are starting to trend back up since 2011.
One expert says these numbers are partly indicative of consumer comfort with credit and debt. From 2009 forward, many people were more careful in how they spent their money due to economic reasons. In recent years, consumers are more comfortable carrying balances.
At the same time, some of the drop in balances is due to people defaulting on loans and credit accounts. From around 2007 through 2010, delinquency and default rates on mortgages peaked. Those rates have come down from 2011 to the present, though they are still not back at the low experienced in the years prior to 2009.
Bankruptcies are also down annually since 2009 as consumers as a whole shed their debt and didn’t need the relief. While this is good news for the overall economy, it doesn’t speak to the individual needs of each person or family. If you are struggling with debt, relief options are available.
Source: Huffington Post, “The Death of the Traditional Debt Relief Industry for Now,” Steve Rhode, Nov. 16, 2015