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New Jersey residents' debt often exceeds the national average

Researchers with the Urban Institute have determined that at least 28 percent of all New Jersey residents have bills that are so long overdue that they've been turned over to collections. While this statewide average is at least five percentage points lower than the national one, that's far from the case in at least nine counties in New Jersey. In those, the collections rate of residents either meets or surpasses the national one.

The nine counties with the highest collections rates in the state are Passaic, Essex, Camden, Union, Hudson, Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland and Mercer.

Essex County appears to have the most residents bogged down with delinquent debts -- at a rate of 41 percent. The New Jersey counties with the lowest collections rates include Bergen, Somerset and Morris counties. They each have 19, 18 and 15 percent debt rates.

As for how much the average New Jersey resident is thought to have racked up in debt, it's believed that it hovers around $1,100 per person. In most cases, nearly half of that amount is comprised of medical debt.

For those drowning in debt, ignoring phone calls from collectors will only make things worse. They may decide to pursue legal action against you in an attempt to collect on your unpaid balance. Also, the more time that a debt goes unpaid, your more your credit score will continue to drop.

If you're receiving collections calls on a regular basis and you're unsure what to do to get them to stop, a Toms River debt relief attorney can advise you of the many options available to you in your case.

Source: New Jersey 101.5, "Delinquent debt in NJ: 8 counties exceed national mark," Dino Flammia, Jan. 10, 2018

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