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According to an article in the Deseret News, Indiana ranked 21st in a list of the twenty-five states with the lowest levels of consumer debt. However, other figures have shown that the average Hoosier household maintains a credit card debt of $9,304.42, putting the state fourth highest in the nation.
Student loan debt is another significant portion of the overall picture in Indiana. Statewide, 62% of graduates wind up owing money on loans. On average, this debt works out to be more than $28,000 per student.
In the past five years, some portions of Indiana have seen a decline in overall business bankruptcy filings; while on the other hand, the number of individuals filing for bankruptcy protection, such as through debt consolidation, was still noteworthy at 4.38 per 1,000 residents. Indiana has been higher than the national average for the past five years, sometimes by more than two percentage points.
Indiana residents benefit from the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which seeks to protect consumers from dishonest or unfair actions on the part of collection agencies.
State law allows debt collectors to file claims by mail, and also to pursue many assets that are not allowed in other states: cars, real estate, and pension payments, to name a few. Collection agencies are also able to choose the court in which their cases will be heard, and they often select the venue where they feel most likely to recover the largest possible amount of money. Because Indiana's laws tend to favor debt collectors, consumer debt in the state sells at a higher rate than in others, averaging seven cents on the dollar.
The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions recommends that consumers choose wisely when considering debt consolidation as an approach to managing their financial issues, as there are a wide range of providers and services available.
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