In 2011, U.S. credit card debt was again on the rise, skyrocketing 154 percent, or $16.82 billion, during the third quarter compared to the same period in 2010. The charge off rate also increased slightly from second to third quarter 2011, when it reached 5.63 percent. The picture looked much different by July 2012, when credit card spending decreased by $4.82 billion, its largest drop since April 2011. However, the average amount of credit card debt per U.S. household was still $15,799. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help erase credit card debt.
Many Americans use credit cards to pay for purchases ranging from small household products to major expenses like furniture or even cars. As of October 4, 2012, credit card interest rates for variable-rate credit cards averaged 14.56 percent, making this financing quite expensive. Rates had been relatively steady during the months of August and September but the October increase represented a change of four basis points.
More than one-quarter of Americans said that their credit card debt had increased during the 12 months prior to late July 2012. The average balance for each open credit card was $1,157 and 56 percent of American consumers had carried an unpaid balance during the previous 12 months. Nearly 14 percent of consumer disposable income is applied to servicing credit card debt.
Though bank credit card default rates declined from July to August 2012, reaching their lowest point since February 2007, many Americans continue to struggle with paying credit card bills. Those who cannot afford to repay these debts turn to experts for help. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a solution proposed in the most extreme cases. This type of bankruptcy reorganizes debts and repays them over a three to five-year period.
Debts are classified by priority and credit card debt is typically given the lowest priority, general unsecured debt. In most cases, a person including credit card debts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing will not need to repay these in full. If money remains after paying secured and priority unsecured debts, it must be used applied to credit card debts, with each credit card provider receiving a percentage.
Some credit card debt is not treated with such leniency because it is considered secured. Store credit card debt is one example. A department store may claim a security interest in items purchased with the card. A bank may also require a security agreement when a consumer gets a credit card, stipulating that the cardholder must use cash or property to guaranteed debts incurred. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help to eliminate debt and restructure the debt amount