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Research and Statistics

NY Fed: Debt in collection shrinks

Summary

The percentage of accounts in collections and the average size of those debts both shrank, according to new data from the New York Fed.

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A look at bills being collected by collection agencies shows how a bulge of bad debt has worked its way through the consumer economy after the Great Recession.

For people with debt in collection, the average amount owed fell to $1,376 in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the lowest mark since the fourth quarter of 2010. The Fed analyzes a sample of credit reports to track the debt figures.

Fewer people are getting calls from collectors as well. The 13.6 percent of consumers with one or more debts in collection was up slightly from the fourth quarter of 2014, but remained lower than any other period since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The bank issued the data May 12 as part of its quarterly Household Credit and Debt report.

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