Debt: America's Current Financial Crisis

Debt is one of the greatest obstacles any adult can face, and unfortunately, it has become a pervasive problem in our modern society. In order to better illustrate the current debt burdens American households are carrying, our Lake of the Ozarks debt collections defense attorney is here to share the following 2016 statistics compiled by NerdWallet.

Here is how much debt the average household has in each of these categories:
  • Credit cards - $16,748
  • Car loans - $28,948
  • Student loans - $49,905
  • Mortgages - $176,222

Any given household may carry more or less debt than the average in each of these categories, depending on the family's specific lifestyle/needs. NerdWallet goes on to reveal that after adjusting the totals in any given category, the average household carries a total debt balance of $134,643 (including mortgages).

What Happens To All That Debt?

Typically, consumers take on debts to cover certain large purchases they would not otherwise be able to afford, such as a house, car, or boat. Ideally, consumers should analyze their big financial picture to determine how much debt they can afford to take on, and then take steps to repay their debts following the monthly schedule they agreed upon with their lenders. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way.

Sometimes, life circumstances make it impossible to carefully weigh the pros and cons before taking on new debt. You may find it difficult to make ends meet one month and resort to credit cards to make up the difference. Alternatively, your employment (and therefore your income) may change, making it difficult or impossible to keep up with your monthly debt payments. Whatever the reason, the resulting situation is the same - you may suddenly find yourself saddled with debt that you cannot afford to repay.

When Debt Goes Unpaid

If you are late on a payment for your debt(s), the first thing that often happens is simple - you'll receive a communication from your creditors notifying you of the missed payment. Your creditors will most likely charge you a late fee as a consequence. If you make your payment and pay the late fee in a timely manner, the issue may go no further and everyone can move on.

Of course, if you didn't have the money to make the payment in the first place, you may find it difficult or impossible to make the payment as well as the late fee. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to make your payment (and the more months you miss) the more financial penalties you'll accumulate in the form of late fees and additional interest.

Long-Term Unsatisfied Debt

If your creditor is not able to secure payment from you, a number of different things may happen. If your debt is secured with collateral (such as your house or your car), the creditor may begin the process of trying to seize this collateral. The creditor may also sell your debt to a debt collection agency, at which point the collection agency will become your point of contact for dealing with the debt in question.

You may also be served with a lawsuit over your debt. Debt collection lawsuits are very serious - if not addressed appropriately, the consequences may be long-lasting and severe.

Building Your Debt Collections Defense

If you are being faced with a debt collection lawsuit, all may not be lost. You may have a valid defense, even if it does not seem obvious to you.

Our debt collections defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you evaluate your situation to determine what strategy may be most advantageous for you. Our primary goal will be to ensure that your rights remain protected at all times. 

To learn more about our Missouri debt collections defense services, visit our website at You can also call us directly at (573) 552-0317 to schedule your initial consultation.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065


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