Dying in Debt

For the Families of Some Debtors, Death Offers No Respite


Debt among Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 is growing faster than for any other age group, according to the Federal Reserve. As of 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, the median debt level of that age group was $40,130, up from $27,458 in 2004. Research group Strategic Business Insights' Macromonitor conducted a separate survey and found that households headed by Americans 75 and older carried an average of $7,200 in credit-card debt in 2010, more than triple the 2008 level.


Collecting the debts of the dead is often easier than other collection work, says Mark Russell, a director at debt-collection advisory firm Kaulkin Ginsberg in Rockville, Md. Most borrowers behind on their bills have little or no money. Successfully collecting death debts takes just one relative who is willing to pay, he says.

Comment: WSJ article. I feel sorry for the debt collectors. Article has 2 associated voice conversations

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