Americans struggling, worrying about debt

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) said a new poll that it commissioned shows that 73 percent of Americans live with debt. The AICPA says that outstanding household debt in the U.S. has hit a new high of $12.84 trillion, even as consumer spending is increasing at a faster clip than any since 2009.

Unfortunately, the combination of consumer debt and spending is causing for many people feelings of being trapped and hopelessness; the very sorts of feelings unscrupulous debt collectors hope to prey on when making abusive calls that include threats and false allegations.

According to results of the telephone survey conducted by Harris Poll, 39 percent of Americans say they're anxious when they think of trying to pay off their debt. Of those respondents, 21 percent say that their debt is causing tensions with a spouse or partner.

Eleven percent admit they have misled family members or friends about their debt and finances.

Debt also influences the way people feel as they go about their lives, with 31 percent saying that they worry about their debt generally, with another 18 percent saying that they worry while they're at their job and another 25 percent saying that they worry about their bills at bedtime.

The chair of AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission said, “debt is taking a greater mental toll on Millennials than older generations. But the good news is that they also have the most time to do something about it."

If you face abusive debt collection tactics, you can speak to a consumer protection attorney dedicated to protecting your rights.

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