Local Conditions and Debt in Collections

Working Paper

Local Conditions and Debt in Collections

Abstract

Using credit bureau records on seven million people in the United States, we demonstrate that debt in collections varies significantly across the country, with the South and West regions showing the highest share of people with debt in collections. Additionally, we identify local factors that are associated with debt in collections: (1) lower health insurance coverage, (2) lower home values, (3) a higher share of African Americans and Latinos, (4) a higher unemployment rate, and (5) lower educational attainment. These analyses provide a first glimpse into the relationship between local conditions and debt in collections.

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