It is a fact that incomes of middle class Americans in Florida and nationwide are failing to keep up with the increasing amounts of consumer debt that they are accumulating. That in turn likely has something to do with the slow growth of wages in comparison to high price increases in various retail sectors. In short, people are increasingly using their credit cards for survival, which is a poor omen for future predictions regarding the economy. It points to an increasing number of consumers who may be expected to file for bankruptcy relief in 2017.
The average credit card grand balance in a consumer household is slightly over $16,000, according to a NerdWallet report. The statistics are taken from the census records and from Federal Reserve Bank data. The last time that credit card balances were this high was in 2008, at the beginning of the Great Recession. The report also indicates that household income has not kept up with the cost of living percentage increases.
For example, medical expenses were up a whopping 57 percent since 2003, while income was only up by 28 percent. Credit cards are recognized as one of the most expensive ways for consumers to borrow, which in turn puts them in heavier debt at a quicker pace. Because many consumers do not have easy access to more reasonable credit extensions, those consumers labor mightily under the pressure of keeping up with rampaging credit card balances.
For those who cannot keep up the pace at which credit card debt and other debt is outstripping their capacity to pay and survive at the same time, bankruptcy may be a valid consideration. If an individual or married couple residing in Florida can qualify for Chapter 7 relief, credit card and medical debt will be erased totally and permanently, without the intensity and pressure brought on by most harrowing debt reduction methods. Whether one qualifies and which Chapter to proceed in are questions best raised in a consultation with an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
Source: CNBC, "US households now have over $16,000 in credit-card debt", Jessica Dickler, Dec. 13, 2016