ICFE
ICFE eNEWS #14-12 - August 7th 2014

35% of Americans face collection - many for debts they don't owe, new training course aimed at counselors

San Diego, CA - A study released by The Urban Institute, (UI) a Washington, D. C. based group that arose in the mid-1960s, and reports about 35% of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been referred to a collection agency. (see chart below) The non-profit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE.org) contends about half of the debts being collected aren't even owed by the individuals the agencies are pursuing.

This growing trend caught the attention, in 2013, of ICFE, based in San Diego, CA, which had developed a new certification and training course titled: Certified Consumer Debt Collection Compliance Specialist (DCCS). It is specifically for credit and debt counselors as well as professional consumer debt collectors. The DCCS program points out the tactics used by professional collectors such as this troubling approach: Filing lawsuits against debtors - often, consumer advocates say, on the theory that they won't ever show up to court to defend themselves, then a judge can put a lien on someone's home, garnish wages, even freeze bank accounts - often this happens without a person getting a chance to fight his or her case. One of the problems with debt collectors is that they may not have all the information they need to prove their claims. As debts get older and are often bought and sold multiple times, crucial information about the borrower gets lost. The DCCS course details the accountability of collection agencies and individual collectors, in addition spelling out special exemptions for certain active duty servicemembers who may be the focus of a collector. The course also has a section about how junk debt buyers can negatively affect an individual's credit file and credit score and trains counselors how to rebut these issues. The DCCS course is accepted for Continuing Education credits by a variety of professional organizations. The ICFE has eight different certification programs and has trained over 6,500 individuals.
For more information on the DCCS course, please visit ICFE.org

The chart below from The Urban Institute's ranks the states and the amount of delinquent debt. UI's Caroline Ratcliffe said that stagnant incomes are key to why some parts of the country are struggling to repay their debt. Wages have barely kept up with inflation during the five-year recovery, according to Labor Department figures.

Rank

Delinquent Debt and Income by State State

Share with past due debt

Share with debt in collections

Average debt in collections

Average household income

1

North Dakota

5.00%

19.20%

$5,265

$73,553

2

Minnesota

4.10%

19.80%

$5,682

$77,374

3

South Dakota

4.30%

20.80%

$6,458

$63,724

4

Hawaii

4.60%

22.70%

$5,731

$83,006

5

Massachusetts

4.50%

23.00%

$4,602

$90,576

6

Vermont

4.50%

23.70%

$4,658

$69,646

7

Nebraska

4.30%

23.90%

$5,394

$66,072

8

Connecticut

5.30%

26.20%

$4,643

$96,180

9

Montana

4.10%

26.20%

$6,543

$60,867

10

Iowa

4.10%

26.30%

$4,810

$65,466

11

Wisconsin

4.20%

26.50%

$5,260

$66,985

12

New Hampshire

5.00%

27.40%

$5,862

$81,747

13

Wyoming

4.10%

28.20%

$6,803

$69,214

14

Idaho

4.40%

28.30%

$6,441

$59,573

15

New York

4.70%

28.30%

$5,147

$82,630

16

Utah

3.40%

29.00%

$5,828

$72,924

17

Maine

5.20%

29.10%

$5,334

$62,030

18

New Jersey

3.90%

29.20%

$4,309

$95,457

19

Rhode Island

5.80%

30.10%

$4,383

$73,717

20

Oregon

4.50%

30.50%

$5,456

$65,866

21

Kansas

4.50%

30.90%

$5,027

$67,591

22

Pennsylvania

5.10%

30.90%

$4,952

$70,352

23

Colorado

4.30%

31.20%

$5,837

$77,606

24

Washington

3.70%

31.20%

$5,795

$76,926

25

Virginia

4.40%

31.70%

$4,976

$85,877

26

California

5.10%

33.00%

$5,456

$83,359

27

Alaska

5.40%

33.10%

$6,443

$85,975

28

Illinois

4.60%

33.90%

$5,101

$76,299

29

Michigan

4.70%

34.70%

$4,352

$63,951

30

Missouri

5.30%

35.40%

$5,805

$62,196

31

Ohio

5.50%

35.40%

$4,368

$63,692

32

Indiana

4.90%

35.50%

$4,846

$62,167

33

Maryland

4.90%

36.80%

$4,273

$94,160

34

Delaware

5.30%

37.80%

$5,133

$75,547

35

Arizona

5.30%

38.70%

$6,224

$65,788

36

Oklahoma

6.10%

38.90%

$5,012

$61,178

37

Tennessee

5.20%

39.10%

$4,466

$60,416

38

Arkansas

5.60%

40.20%

$4,438

$54,906

39

North Carolina

4.00%

40.30%

$4,280

$62,709

40

New Mexico

6.50%

40.80%

$4,900

$60,147

41

Florida

5.80%

41.00%

$6,396

$65,167

42

West Virginia

5.40%

41.50%

$4,697

$54,676

43

Alabama

5.90%

41.70%

$5,604

$58,210

44

District of Columbia

4.50%

41.80%

$3,547

$103,652

45

Kentucky

6.60%

41.90%

$4,420

$57,566

46

Georgia

6.10%

42.00%

$4,649

$66,581

47

Louisiana

8.70%

43.80%

$4,194

$61,800

48

Mississippi

7.20%

44.70%

$4,413

$53,446

49

Texas

7.60%

44.70%

$5,049

$71,763

50

South Carolina

6.50%

46.20%

$5,606

$59,904

51

Nevada

5.40%

46.90%

$7,198

$67,008

United States

5.30%

35.10%

$5,178

$72,254

Rank

MSA

Share with past due debt

Share with debt in collections

Average debt in collections

1

Minneapolis, MN

4.2%

20.1%

$5,900

2

Honolulu, HI

4.5%

21.0%

$5,472

3

Boston, MA

4.3%

22.4%

$4,811

4

Madison, WI

3.6%

22.6%

$4,699

5

San Jose, CA

3.5%

23.0%

$4,977

6

Bridgeport, CT

4.7%

24.5%

$4,878

7

Worcester, MA

5.2%

25.7%

$4,486

8

Hartford, CT

5.2%

25.9%

$4,415

9

Ogden, UT

3.7%

26.1%

$5,697

10

Provo, UT

3.6%

26.2%

$6,250

11

Springfield, MA

5.3%

26.3%

$4,332

12

San Francisco, CA

3.6%

26.7%

$5,049

13

Albany, NY

4.4%

27.2%

$5,288

14

Des Moines, IA

4.3%

27.3%

$4,420

15

Syracuse, NY

5.7%

27.7%

$5,337

16

New York, NY

4.2%

27.9%

$4,854

17

Pittsburgh, PA

4.9%

28.4%

$4,889

18

Buffalo, NY

5.0%

28.6%

$5,245

19

Providence, RI

5.8%

28.8%

$4,341

20

Rochester, NY

5.0%

28.8%

$4,839

21

New Haven, CT

6.4%

28.9%

$4,436

22

Omaha, NE

4.6%

29.1%

$5,713

23

Portland, OR

4.2%

29.4%

$5,223

24

Oxnard, CA

4.6%

29.5%

$5,739

25

Grand Rapids, MI

4.1%

30.2%

$3,991

26

Harrisburg, PA

4.7%

30.2%

$4,887

27

Boise City, ID

4.7%

30.4%

$6,342

28

Spokane, WA

4.1%

30.9%

$6,108

29

Allentown, PA

5.0%

31.1%

$5,575

30

Milwaukee, WI

5.4%

31.2%

$4,857

31

San Diego, CA

4.7%

31.3%

$5,974

32

Sacramento, CA

5.4%

31.7%

$5,891

33

Seattle, WA

3.5%

31.9%

$5,995

34

Salt Lake City, UT

3.2%

32.2%

$5,593

35

Washington, DC

4.2%

32.2%

$4,451

36

Scranton, PA

5.7%

32.3%

$4,877

37

Denver, CO

4.2%

32.5%

$5,468

38

Los Angeles, CA

5.1%

32.6%

$5,567

39

Colorado Springs, CO

5.0%

32.7%

$6,621

40

Raleigh, NC

3.7%

33.2%

$5,196

41

Philadelphia, PA

5.1%

33.3%

$4,688

42

Richmond, VA

4.9%

33.3%

$4,844

43

Wichita, KS

5.0%

33.4%

$4,837

44

St. Louis, MO

5.2%

33.6%

$5,455

45

Youngstown, OH

5.6%

34.2%

$4,664

46

Dayton, OH

5.5%

34.5%

$3,872

47

Chicago, IL

4.7%

34.7%

$4,903

48

Cincinnati, OH

5.4%

34.7%

$4,458

49

Akron, OH

5.4%

34.9%

$4,942

50

Cleveland, OH

5.9%

34.9%

$4,207

51

Kansas City, MO

4.8%

35.0%

$5,781

52

North Port, FL

4.6%

35.0%

$6,803

53

Tulsa, OK

6.3%

35.1%

$4,983

54

Cape Coral, FL

5.4%

35.5%

$7,280

55

Knoxville, TN

4.6%

35.5%

$4,513

56

Virginia Beach, VA

5.5%

36.1%

$5,395

57

Tucson, AZ

5.1%

36.3%

$5,362

58

Nashville, TN

4.7%

36.4%

$4,334

59

Toledo, OH

6.0%

36.5%

$4,532

60

Detroit, MI

5.1%

36.7%

$4,246

61

Baltimore, MD

5.0%

37.1%

$4,138

62

Albuquerque, NM

5.8%

37.4%

$4,914

63

Palm Bay, FL

4.8%

37.4%

$7,043

64

Columbus, OH

5.2%

37.5%

$4,229

65

Indianapolis, IN

4.9%

38.4%

$4,821

66

Little Rock, AR

6.0%

38.4%

$4,577

67

Winston, NC

3.8%

38.5%

$3,419

68

Austin, TX

6.0%

38.7%

$5,539

69

Phoenix, AZ

5.3%

39.3%

$6,368

70

Stockton, CA

6.5%

39.4%

$5,242

71

Louisville, KY

5.0%

39.8%

$4,509

72

Miami, FL

6.3%

39.8%

$6,767

73

Atlanta, GA

5.7%

39.9%

$5,008

74

Oklahoma City, OK

5.3%

39.9%

$5,179

75

Greensboro, NC

4.0%

40.9%

$4,406

76

Riverside, CA

6.6%

40.9%

$5,806

77

Chattanooga, TN

4.5%

41.0%

$4,120

78

New Orleans, LA

8.6%

41.5%

$4,251

79

Birmingham, AL

5.9%

41.6%

$5,314

80

Tampa, FL

5.5%

41.6%

$6,287

81

Deltona, FL

5.2%

41.7%

$7,016

82

Charlotte, NC

4.2%

41.8%

$4,698

83

Augusta, GA

6.3%

41.9%

$3,963

84

Charleston, SC

6.4%

42.8%

$5,053

85

Fresno, CA

6.5%

43.0%

$4,632

86

Bakersfield, CA

6.8%

43.1%

$4,913

87

Jackson, MS

6.8%

43.3%

$4,358

88

Baton Rouge, LA

8.6%

43.7%

$4,561

89

Houston, TX

7.2%

43.7%

$5,132

90

Greenville, SC

5.5%

44.0%

$5,947

91

Dallas, TX

6.6%

44.3%

$5,084

92

El Paso, TX

9.0%

44.4%

$4,660

93

San Antonio, TX

8.8%

44.5%

$5,420

94

Orlando, FL

5.9%

44.8%

$5,891

95

Memphis, TN

6.5%

44.9%

$4,707

96

Jacksonville, FL

6.2%

45.0%

$6,331

97

Columbia, SC

7.3%

45.2%

$6,416

98

Lakeland, FL

5.6%

47.3%

$5,772

99

Las Vegas, NV

5.6%

49.2%

$7,246

100

McAllen, TX

10.1%

51.7%

$4,106


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Sent by:

Paul Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)


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