In the News

Older Americans' Debts Mounting as They Reach Retirement Age
 
The average debt of Americans 65 and older has jumped nearly 90 percent over the past decade to more than $4,000, and those aged 50 to 64 have seen their average debt double to the same amount, according to research by Demos, a New York-based think tank.
While bill sponsor Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) claims that the recent growth of bankruptcies is due to "irresponsible consumerism," Tamara Draut of the economic policy group Demos disagrees.
Recently, Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action, released a study contradicting the assumptions of this bill's proponents. The Demos study showed how the amount of credit card debt per person has risen in the last 10 years. The study also showed how the increase in senior citizens filing for bankruptcy has been the greatest of any age group over the years.
 
Instead, by pressing legislation that is unbalanced and tilted toward specific special interest groups, the proponents of S.
If you haven't seen the Demos web site, this report is a good introduction.
The highly competitive home-mortgage industry may be setting up consumers to fail when the current housing boom ends, economic analysts and public policy advocates warn.
 
Recent reports from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Demos, a New York-based think tank, hold that the price run-up in hot markets can't go on indefinitely. When prices flatten or drop, overextended borrowers will be at heightened risk of losing their homes, they hold.
"Families are borrowing to make ends meet, and they're one missed paycheck away from collapse," said Tamara Draut, director of the economic opportunity program at Demos, a think tank.
 
Millions of Americans could be plunged into financial ruin if a bill giving credit card companies long-sought relief from unpaid loans gets final Congressional approval, a broad array of consumer protection, economic justice, and civil rights groups warned.
The MetLife Mature Market Institute Demographic Profile of Americans 65+ shows an aging population of 36 million people, some with few assets and relatively low income; 10% live below the poverty line.
 
The profile relies on data from the 2000 U.S. Census and from U.S. Census Bureau Noun 1.
According to the consumer advocacy group Demos, from 1992 to 2001, the youngest adults (18 to 24 years old) saw the sharpest rise in credit-card debt-104 percent-to an average of $2,985. The second-highest increase-55 percent-was among young adults (25 to 34 years old), who also had the second highest bankruptcy rate, just after those ages 35 to 44.
 
According to the educational lender Nellie Mae, incoming college freshmen will amass $1,500 in credit-card debt before the end of their first term.
Ohio Citizen Action wants a federal elections panel to put the "public" back in "public hearing." The activist group questioned on Monday why public testimony won't be taken at Wednesday's meeting of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Javier Silva, senior research associate with public policy and advocacy group Demos, found that the "majority of households has used the equity [in their homes] to pay for living expenses and pay down credit-card debt."
 
Beware: there are plenty of other folks out there waiting to help you take money out of your home equity for any purpose.