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Study: 26.5% of Wisconsin adults facing debt collections

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - About one of every four Wisconsin adults have debts that were reported to collection agencies -- and while that sounds bad, the national average is a lot worse.

The Urban Institute released a study Tuesday showing that 26.5 percent of Wisconsinites with credit records have something that collection agencies are calling about. Those people are being hounded to pay back an average of $5,200 each -- and they often lose out on good jobs or the apartments they want.

That's according to Caroline Ratcliffe of the Urban Institute, who says the percentage of people in collections has stayed the same, even though total debt has gone down since the Great Recession. Ratcliffe calls that a disturbing trend.

All told, 4.2 percent of Wisconsin credit users have past due debts -- well below the national average of 5.3 percent.

The percentage of Badger State adults with something in collections is 8.5 percent below the national norm, while the amount in collections is about $100 more than average.

Also, the nation's 100 largest metro areas had their debt rates listed. Madison has the 6th-lowest percentage of people with debts in collections -- but it's still 22.6 percent. Metro Milwaukee is about 4 percent before the national norm, at 31 percent.

The figures are based on federal data, and numbers from the TransUnion credit bureau.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)