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Report shows delinquent debt levels for area consumers

Rochester Business Journal
August 8, 2014

Nearly 30 percent of Rochester’s residents have debt in collections and 5 percent have debt at least 30 days past due, a new report from the Urban Institute shows.

Delinquent Debt in America reports 28.8 percent of Rochester-area consumers have debt reported as in collections. That can include non-payment of bills such as credit cards, medical or utility bills or parking tickets.

The average debt in collections in the Rochester area is $4,839.

In Buffalo, some 5 percent of residents with credit files have past-due debt, while 28.6 percent have debt in collections, averaging $5,245. Some 5.7 percent of Syracuse residents are past due on their debt and 27.7 percent have debt in collections. In Syracuse, the average debt in collections is $5,337.

Using 2013 data from TransUnion, the Urban Institute found that nationwide one out of 20 people with a credit file are at least 30 days late on a credit card or other non-mortgage account. The average amount past due nationwide was $2,258.

Some 35 percent of people with credit files nationwide have debt in collections, relatively unchanged from a 2004 analysis by the Federal Reserve, the report notes. In New York, some 4.7 percent of individuals have past-due debt, while 28.3 percent have debt in collections.

The report notes that delinquent debt can lower credit scores and result in serious future consequences because credit report information is used to determine eligibility for jobs, access to rental housing and mortgages, insurance premiums and access to credit in general. In many cases, debt in collections can stay on one’s credit report for seven years, the report states.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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