Almost anyone can get into financial trouble.
No one knows that more than Suzanne Boas, who for nearly two decades has guided a non-profit agency that tries to help thousands of distressed consumers each year.
In this economic meltdown, however, the clients are different — and so is Boas and her agency.
“The problems we’re seeing are far, far deeper than anything we’ve experienced before,” said Boas, president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta.
From mounting credit-card debt to foreclosures and bankruptcies, a few stats tell the story:
– In 2008, CCCS conducted 193,000 bankruptcy counseling sessions — a 70 percent increase in two years. Housing counseling skyrocketed eight-fold to nearly 73,000 sessions. And budget counseling rose to nearly 77,000 sessions, a 64 percent increase in two years.
– The people in trouble earned considerably more money than in the past. Those who received foreclosure counseling this year had an average gross income of