We’ve heard plenty about the national debt, and it has left millions across the country struggling with their own financial problems.
A new report shows more than half of American families have more than $75,000 in personal debt.
The Federal Reserve says all that debt adds up … totaling $11.5 trillion nationwide.
Financial experts here locally say they aren’t too surprised.
“I think most families are struggling to find the right ratio of debt to income to be able to purchase the lifestyle they would like to have,” said financial advisor Jay Oliver.
With signs of national economic growth, bankruptcy lawyer Amy Ames says on a personal level, it’s probably going to take a little more time.
“I don’t think its improving on the consumer or small business level yet,” Ames said.
In Smith County, she works with clients who are struggling with anywhere from $20,000 in debt … up to several hundred thousand.
“A lot of credit card debt, medical bills, sometimes they’re dealing with IRS, litigation,” Ames said.
She’s seen a steady increase in foreclosures and bankruptcies here locally, too.
“Sometimes the debt is just unmanageable, and bankruptcy is an option that can give them a fresh start,” Ames said.