Louisiana Hit Hard By Consumer Debt
Some areas in the U.S. are suffering more than others in regards to high unemployment, foreclosure or debt. Recent data reveals many consumers in Louisiana are finding it harder to meet their financial obligations, leading to a sharp increase in the amount of debt collection lawsuits.
Citing data from public records, Louisiana newspaper Huoma Today reports lawsuits related to debt collection has more than doubled during the last five years. The number of debt-related cases recorded by the court system sat at 1,043 in 2009, a 61 percent increase from the 646 seen in 2003, the newspaper said.
Doug Holloway, a clerk at the Huoma City Court, told the newspaper many borrowers are too afraid to contact their lenders or face legal proceedings, making the problem worse.
"What may have started off a reasonable amount of money becomes a large amount really quickly," Holloway told Huoma Today. "They get themselves in a situation they just can't get out of."
Although certain states are facing more debt than others, the national credit card delinquency and charge-off rates have shown a steady improvement in recent months, indicating more consumers are managing their finances better or participating in debt relief initiatives to pay down their balances.