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August 2018 Archives

Credit card delinquency rate rises worryingly

Many consumers in Michigan and around the country are having difficulty meeting their financial obligations despite low unemployment, rising wages and sustained economic growth according to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The bank says that the credit card delinquency rate has risen from 2.12 percent during the second quarter of 2015 to 2.47 percent currently, which means that more than $20 billion in this type of revolving debt is currently at least 30 days past due.

Bankruptcies increase among elderly Americans

An increasing number of elderly people in Michigan and across the United States are filing for bankruptcy, especially as wealth inequality continues to deepen. Several studies have indicated that older Americans are suffering from escalating financial problems. Between 1991 and 2016, the bankruptcy rate for Americans over 75 more than tripled. At the same time, bankruptcy filings for people between 65 and 74 went up more than two-fold. While a larger number of people are growing older as Baby Boomers retire, the growth in bankruptcies far outstrips the demographic changes.

The four types of child support cases

Child support programs in Michigan and around the country were established to ensure that children receive the care they need and do not become burdens on the state. Title IV of the 1975 Social Security Act allows the federal government to send states incentive payments to help them enforce child support orders and collect delinquent payments. All types of child support cases now include the designation 'IV."

Student loan debt stresses marital relationships

For many young people in Ann Arbor, student loan debt represents a major burden on their financial, personal and social lives. Many millennials have postponed important life milestones like marriage and children because they first want to address mounting educational debt. Student debt has grown across the country and is far greater than in past decades. On average, a borrower owes $34,144 in student loan debt; for people who graduated as part of the class of 2017, that number is even greater, coming in at an average of $39,400.

Racial bias often plays a role in bail decisions

Judges in Michigan and around the country set bail to ensure that criminal defendants will appear to face trial, and remand is generally reserved for individuals who are considered a flight risk or could pose a danger to the general public. These decisions should be based on the character of the defendant and the nature of the crimes they are charged with, but a study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics suggests that judges are often influenced by racial bias and unfounded stereotypes.

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