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Debt Distress: Symptoms and Treatment

posted by Alan White
From the United Kingdom comes an interesting new study, based on a survey of more than 10,000 applicants for legal aid about their problems and the means they use to address them. The study explores the linkages between overindebtedness and social exclusion.  Consumers seeking help with debt problems are much more likely to face multiple related difficulties, including employment, mental health and other civil justice problems.  This longitudinal study also reports on the duration of debt problems and the success or failure of different strategies consumers employed.  The findings support the need for a broad array of services to assist consumers overwhelmed by debt, an approach characteristic of many European consumer bankruptcy and debt adjustment systems, about which Jason Kilborn and others have written.  These coordinated social service approaches are notably absent from the US bankruptcy system, at least officially, and apart from some token counseling requirements.  

Comments

I totally support UK's initiative for helping people deal with the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. I think if the US has all these initiatives to educate the consumers, I personally would have been smarter not to over extend myself financially and then put myself in such indebtedness that I had to see bankruptcy protection. But the question for US is who is going to pay for this education?

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