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Fewer Debtors in the United States, But Debts Owed Higher

According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, more American are debt-free today than in 2000. However, those who have debt owe nearly 40% more than in 2000, with the biggest percentage increase in debt being among seniors. The percentage of households in the U.S. carrying any debt decreased to from 74% in 2000 to 69% in 2011, the report showed, but the median debt load increased to $70,000, a significant increase from an inflation-adjusted $50,971. In the meantime, debt owed by seniors doubled to a median of $26,000. If you are struggling with overwhelming debt and you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center to discuss the best option for your financial situation.

The Reality of Unpayable Debt

The government indicated in the Census Bureau report that seniors’ rising housing debt led the increase in the population’s overall debt load. According to personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, seniors are also more likely than before the recession to have student loans or unsecured debt, often incurred as they try to help their adult children handle education costs, job loss or divorce. “We’ve known for five-plus years that seniors are falling into debt, and it’s very troubling,” said Khalfani-Cox. “Most of us have this idealized concept of riding into the sunset with a paid-off house. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.” The Census Bureau report also showed that, through 2011, the median household had a 16% lower net worth, when compared to 2000.

Contact Our Bankruptcy Attorneys for Legal Help

The Census report showed that the share of people with debt dropped for all age groups 65 and younger, and the largest increase in debt was for households led by people 35 to 44 years old, who owed a median of $108,000. Although a substantially lower number of Americans hold credit card debt now (38%), compared to last decade (51%), the percentage holding other forms of unsecured debt, including medical costs not covered by insurance and student loans, increased from 11% of households to 19%. If you are having trouble repaying your debts, contact our reputable attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to discuss the benefits of filing for Oklahoma bankruptcy. Even if you have significant debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy – such as student loans – filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma can discharge or reorganize other forms of debt and help free up some money to more easily handle these debts.

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