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Evidence shows many Americans falling again into credit card trap

The so-called “Great Recession” of recent years hit many Americans hard, including large numbers of Floridians. Millions of people across the country lost jobs as the economy downsized, and millions more took on high levels of debt that subsequently became difficult -- and in many cases flatly impossible -- to pay off.

The results of that have been well chronicled by the dramatic uptick in foreclosures and bankruptcies over the past handful of years. Things seem to have gotten somewhat better across the country generally, but in large regional pockets -- including Florida -- many people are still suffering trying to get back on their feet.

An interesting anomaly relating to the economic malaise and the struggle to dig out from it was recently pointed out by the credit reporting agency Equifax via its periodically issued National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

The report centrally reveals this: Notwithstanding that millions of Americans have made mighty efforts in recent years to reduce their credit card debt, they now seem to be reverting to old habits by readily relying once again on card purchases.

That spells trouble for many of them, says a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

A clearly increasing use of cards again “suggests that not only are many Americans using credit cards to fund a lifestyle their income can’t support,” says Gail Cunningham, “but they are comfortable doing so.”

Credit card purchases and escalating debt can rapidly spiral out of control, with outsized card balances being a major cause underlying bankruptcies, foreclosures and unwanted contacts from creditors.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide candid and confidential advice about reducing debt, dealing with creditors and securing a fresh financial start.

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet, "Are Americans cozying up to credit card debt again?" Eric McWhinnie, Sept. 6, 2013

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