In the last post, this blog discussed the general trend in consumer's reliance on credit cards when making purchases. In recent years, overall credit card debt has seen a decline. More consumers are expected to use their credit cards during this holiday season, but that may not necessarily alter the trend in declining credit card debt, according to a recent report from TransUnion.
Economic statistics come in all forms. Since the economic crunch hit the nation's economy, the news has been full of stories showing ups here and downs there. Recently, the American Bankruptcy Institute announced that the number of bankruptcy cases filed nationwide fell slightly during the first nine months of this year.
In what seems to be an endless string of troubling economic news, some good news is making headlines in Ohio this week. The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says that overall layoff announcements in Ohio dropped a staggering 83 percent in October. The Ohio numbers were better than the national trend, where layoffs dropped by more than 60 percent. Ohio ranked second in the Midwest in October for planned layoffs, according to the recent report.
News reports each week describe different statistics about the economy. Some reports suggest the numbers are good, while in others, the numbers may be discouraging. Most experts agree, however, that the recession ended some time ago. Intuitively, you would think that would have a positive impact on Ohio residents' household budgets.
Any experienced bankruptcy attorney in the country has heard stories from consumers who have been subjected to creditor harassment. From time to time, this blog has recounted stories from the news of the outrageous tactics some bill collectors have used in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Cincinnati bankruptcy attorneys know that consumer laws are in place to protect financially distressed individuals from the outlandish tactics that some creditors use.
The concept of so-called payday type loans is not new. Many Cincinnati residents who have fallen behind on bills due to a wide variety of reason are tempted to seek these short-term type of bridge loans to meet deadlines on other bills, hoping to catch up at a later time. In many areas of the country, payday type lenders eventually are not paid and many seek to garnish wages from people who have defaulted on the payments.
A credit counseling service that serves financially stressed Americans nationwide says there has been an increase during the last year and a half in the percentage of debtors who have decided to file for bankruptcy who have made the decision based upon medical debt. In Cincinnati, individuals and married couples who file for bankruptcy protection are generally required to complete credit counseling as a requirement of the federal bankruptcy law. The counseling must be completed by an agency approved by the U.S. bankruptcy trustees.
For many working Cincinnati area residents who, despite their income, are experiencing financial distress a chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding can be a valuable tool to find significant debt relief. In chapter 13 an Ohio resident can often retain all of their property, while curing issues with back taxes, delinquent mortgages or digging out from a mountain of unsecured debt.
Federal officials keep releasing numbers showing the nation's economy remains sluggish. Consumer spending fell slightly in June and unemployment remains high. The Labor Department says overall unemployment sits at 9.2 percent with the broader numbers, which include underemployed workers, is at 16.2 percent.
Recent analysis by a credit card website ranks Ohio 32nd in the nation in credit card habits. Ohio is the seventh most populous state in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The actual analysis was an attempt to determine the "10 Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit." The website Creditcards.com conducted the analysis.