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STATEMENT: Survey Findings on American Household Debt To Be Released at October 12, 2005 Press Conference in Washington, DC

Washington, DC — On Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at the National Press Club in Washington DC, leading policy research and advocacy groups Demos, the Center for Responsible Lending and AARP will release findings from a new national survey of household debt in a report entitled The Plastic Safety Net: the Reality of Household Debt in America.

Research shows that credit card debt in America has almost tripled since 1989 and increased 31 percent since 2000. Americans now owe nearly $800 billion in credit card debt and, owing largely to job instability and medical costs, bankruptcies rose from 616,000 in 1989 to over 1.8 million in 2004. However, existing data sources have not been able to explain the conditions driving the household debt crisis.

Released just five days before the new bankruptcy law takes effect and effectively shuts the door on financial recovery for millions, The Plastic Safety Net reveals the factors behind the explosion of credit card debt in American households over the last two decades and provides an inside look at credit card among America's low- and-middle income households.

When: Wednesday, October 12, 2005
10:00AM to 11:00AM

Where: Zenger Room, The National Press Club
529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Who: Tamara Draut, Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos and co-author of The Plastic Safety Net; Miles Rapoport, President of Demos; and Mark Pearce, President of the Center for Responsible Lending.

To RSVP for this event, please contact Timothy Rusch, Demos, (212) 389-1407 / [email protected] or Mike Flagg, CRL, (202) 349-1862 / [email protected].

Copies of the report will be available for reporters at the event. For more information, visit CRL online at or Demos at