Coloradans swamped with debt

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The number of Coloradans enrolled in debt management contracts grew by more than 44 percent during 2009. Another 7,912 state residents enrolled in a credit counseling program, up 7.8 percent from the prior year, according to the state attorney general’s office.

In his second annual report released today, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said consumers are enrolling with debt management companies in greater numbers and are spending a greater length of time with these firms.

“With the country’s economy still working to rebound, it should come as no surprise that many Coloradans are struggling,” Suthers said.

The report, available online, shows more Coloradans are relying on debt management, credit counseling and debt settlement companies to help them get out of debt, Comparing the 2008 and 2009 data, the number of Coloradans using debt management companies that have registered with the state grew nearly 18 percent:

The report also shows movement in the average level of debt Coloradans enrolling with debt management companies had in 2009 compared with 2008:

· Coloradans enrolling in credit counseling contracts had an average debt of $22,802, an 8.3 percent increase.

· Coloradans enrolling in debt settlement contracts had an average debt of $29,996, a 2.6 percent decrease.

The state’s data also indicated that only 11.35 percent of consumers who contracted with debt-settlement firms in 2006 have since successfully settled all their debts and only 15.9 percent of consumers who contracted with credit-counseling firms in 2006 have since successfully paid off their of debts.