Georgia’s financial distress worse than nation’s

Georgia continues to be more financially distressed than the nation as a whole, according to a quarterly study released Wednesday.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, the Peach State was the eighth worst on the Consumer Distress Index compiled by CredAbility, an Atlanta-based nonprofit credit counseling service.

“Two factors that make Georgia’s consumers among the country’s most distressed are significantly higher underemployment and higher mortgage delinquency,” CredAbility spokesman John McCosh said in an email to the AJC.

The group’s index tracks the financial condition of average U.S. households in all 50 states. Michigan posted the lowest score and North Dakota the highest.

The study found that rising stock prices helped to push up consumers’ net worth, CredAbility said in a news release. But lower scores in three of the index’s other categories — employment, housing and household budget –- drove down the nation’s overall index in the fourth quarter.

For the fourth quarter of last year, American households scored a 64.3 on the index’s 100-point scale — down slightly from 64.4 in the third quarter.

A score below 70 indicates financial distress, CredAbility said. The average U.S. consumer has been in financial distress for 10 consecutive quarters, the organization said.

Georgia’s fourth-quarter score was 61.26 percent — up a hair from 61.24 percent in the third quarter.

Two different types of families appear to be emerging in America, CredAbility said.

“The family with one or two stable jobs is seeing their investments grow again and is beginning to spend more of their household income,” said Mark Cole, chief operating officer of CredAbility. “But families that have lost a job or seen other income sources reduced … have experienced increased financial distress. Unfortunately, millions of families are in the second category.”

Bottom Ten States

Michigan

Mississippi

Nevada

Alabama

Florida

South Carolina

Indiana

Georgia

North Carolina

California

Top Ten States

North Dakota

South Dakota

Nebraska

Wyoming

New Hampshire

Vermont

Iowa

Massachusetts

Minnesota

Montana

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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56 comments Add your comment

Jean Coleman

February 16th, 2011
7:09 am

.I believe one of the main reasons for GA distress is the amount of hispanic migrants during the pass 20years they migarted during the peak growth period of GA during the 1996 Olympics the grew in population of. 130% which caused a decreased in wages because of what they were willing to work for and they consumed the jobs Americans wouldn’t do at the time,but are willing to do now. The construction field in GA has haulted.but going strong in VA because of the new governmental job growth the mexicans have left GA and moved to VA for those contruction jobs before the Americans have an opportunity to apply. Once its over VA will also become in financial distress just like GA

Alan Foster

February 16th, 2011
7:17 am

Questionable data, questionable conclusions.

I’ll take the opportunities in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina over N.and South Dakota, Vermont and Nebraska every day all day.

The only reason the Southern states are in trouble is growth. Does Greyhound even service Bismark and Pierre.

No, those are not German and French pastries. A few people actually live there.

Road Scholar

February 16th, 2011
7:36 am

It’s interesting that a majority of the states in trouble are in the south (60%) with California and Michigan. The states that aren’t in trouble are western and NE states. Is it the conservative leadership (I use that term loosely) or is it the quality of the education provided in those states? Or, do southern voters/homeowners just believe anything they’re told by their politicians?

And don’t give me the reasoning that they are due to barney frank and the demos. All states had the same oppertunities!

The Truth

February 16th, 2011
8:19 am

Is it a coincidence that the top ten states are not as socially diverse as the bottom 10? I don’t think so. I don’t agree with J. Coleman. Blaming Latino’s is a cop out and an excuse. Legislation, immoral mortgage financing tactics, bias employment and compensation combined with the housing bubble bursting are some of the major factors for the bottom 10 states. The Bush administration allowed lenders to rape the lower and middle class with unscrupulous financing methods. I predicted in 2007 at some point had to burst. Now the current administration swung the pendulum to the far right & are regulating mortgage lending so much that no one can qualify and there is no benefit to those who are originatiing the loans. So that means no new building; therefore no new jobs in a market that employed many! The banks chased the almighty $ without looking at the long term reprocussions, and now they are stuck with a surplus of vacant homes so they shot themselves in the foot! Why buy a new home @ retail when you can save $100k+ & get more sq. footage on a home 3 years older? So only short sales and forclosures are being sold at this time. Many companies are offering temp or p/t work to prevent paying benefits, and they are outsourcing to save $. The whole things sucks and those Dems & Repub officials are so far removed that they keep missing the point as to how we get back on track. More regulation is not the answer. Lets not forget who allowed all of this to happen, and where they are now!! Financially secure and retired, thanks G.W BushWACKER!

Ron

February 16th, 2011
8:25 am

Since the 1980’s there has been a great migration of Americans leaving the midwest and northeast and moving west and south. In just the years 2005-2007 it is estimated that 1.6 million American migrated to the south with approximately 800K of them coming from the northeast and the remainder from the midwest. They migrated here because the economy was booming whereas the midwest and northeast was turning into what has become the “Rust Belt”. There has been a significant population shift (the new census clearly shows this). So, it is quite understandable that the south should be experiencing the more economic distress than say Wyoming or the Dakotas or even the midwest and northeast.

http://rcwelch.com/Analytics/Home.html

JDM

February 16th, 2011
9:09 am

The Southeastern states having difficulty are places that experienced the big BOOM during the migration of the early 2000s. Many of those people were low skilled workers (yes illegal immigrants) and folks leaving places like MI and the Northeast.

People are still moving here without jobs thinking we are still the place for opportunity. They find out they can’t get a job until they are local and they move here anyway. Saw a report where blacks are moving South in record numbers.

JDM

February 16th, 2011
9:13 am

@ The Truth

Take a look at Gwinnett Daily Post foreclosure listings – legals section. You can also go back and look at the archives. Most are hispanic.

JDM

February 16th, 2011
9:15 am

PS The Truth

The rest of your post is pure garbage. The Blame Bush train derailed a long time ago.

Culture Shift

February 16th, 2011
9:18 am

The real problem is and has always been the entitlements. Entitlements go against the nature of humanity. In this world there is no substitute for hard work and discipline. Be disciplined with your finances, work hard, and never take the easy money and you will thrive because that is the nature of man. The genius behind our Constitution and what the Founding Fathers understood was to build a system that limited restrictions on the natural progression of life. Born free, learn as much as you can, be well rounded and disciplined, and respect private ownership. What we have become is Rome. We produce nothing. We pervert everything. We cater to foreign powers. Our best and brightest are not pushed and celebrated. Our public schools focus on our weakest students instead of the majority. We have no parenting skills. The fabric of the nuclear family has been lost. You think it is bad now? Go observe an 8th grade class in our state. We have lost control of our own ship and it is has holes that need plugging; anyone know of a leader to plug them. Cowardice and entitlements rule this day.

Dig Deeper

February 16th, 2011
9:56 am

Well under the new leadership of Gov. Deal and the expertise he has shown handling his personal financial decisions, I know GA is in good hands and will be out of this “dis-stress” in no time.
(I am being facetious just in case anyone thinks I was serious)

Pinche Huevos

February 16th, 2011
9:58 am

Blame it on Bush!

JDM

February 16th, 2011
10:00 am

What I have a hard time with is why so many people move here when our public educational system has always been on the lower end and continues down this path. As one person put it earlier, it has to do with lower and middle class families flocking here for a better life, even if their kids are not getting a great education. Those kids have an effect on our schools, they are not helping matters. You have to be the brighest or the lower rung student to get any attention in our schools. Immigrants use most of our educational dollars (ESOL) and pay the least amount of taxes in many cases.

GA will only improve when we start attracting a higher class and upper educated level of people. ATL has not been luring those people. What has come to GA is lower wage earners who sold their $500K 2 BR, 2 BA house in the Northeast and bought a life they could not keep once their job was lost.

Kelly

February 16th, 2011
10:04 am

@ Culture Shift

Well said! I see everyone on this blog pointing fingers at everyone else the government, the banks, the illegal immigrants, teachers, anyone you can point a finger at, and no one taking responsibilty for their own actions. I didn’t see anyone pitching a fit when the economy was at it’s peak. Not one of you, including myself, was saying a word when the immigrants were doing our yard work, building our houses, repairing our streets, farming our crops, etc. because we sure as hell didn’t want to do it. But suddenly, this economy is their fault…now we want those jobs…now we want them out. So I guess they are responsible for our excessive spending to? Not the government spending, I mean our own personal, lavish, greedy spending instead of the savy saving that should have been doing to prepare for hard times.Everyone on this blog played a part in the situation this economy is in. Everyone. Regardless if you want to take responsibilty for your part or not. This entire country turned a blind eye to what was going on with our government, our banks, our polititions, our society. And now suddenly everyone wants to blame someone else. Sad really

Shadow7071

February 16th, 2011
10:10 am

JDM, use a little critical thinking…millions have come to the south because the once vibrant industrial northeast and midwest has “Gone With The Wind”!! Manufacturing jobs went to Japan, Mexico, China and elsewhere. People have come here (the south) to work. I imagine that the quality of schools was not as high as their need for food and shelter.

TnGelding

February 16th, 2011
10:11 am

But most of us are in the other. The chickens have come home to roost. Lack of education and job skills have made many of the unemployed unemployable. Not to mention atrocious personal shortcomings. Throw in a lack of HomeEc skills and you have the current disaster. Too many people are procreating that shouldn’t be allowed to own a pet.

Dig Deeper

February 16th, 2011
10:13 am

Why buy a new home @ retail when you can save $100k+ & get more sq. footage on a home 3 years older? So only short sales and forclosures are being sold at this time. Many companies are offering temp or p/t work to prevent paying benefits, and they are outsourcing to save $.
Agree! Plus look at the H1-B visa employees that companies and GOV’T employees. When state of GA employees were given furloughs, the H1B non-citizen employees were exmempt because of international agreements.

To another poster, we heard it was “Clinton’s Fault” all the way to the end of Bush II’s presidency. Each president has policies that have effects that out live their terms and Bush’s “loose lending” policies coupled with the cost of the wars will have a loooooooooooong lasting effect.

TnGelding

February 16th, 2011
10:13 am

Kelly

February 16th, 2011
10:04 am

We’ve done it to ourselves by buying the imported junk, as well. Not to mention the tremendous increase in productivity over the last few decades. When do the grunts get to share in the bounty?

Peepeye

February 16th, 2011
10:21 am

@Kelly

Not one of you, including myself, was saying a word when the immigrants were doing our yard work, building our houses, repairing our streets, farming our crops, etc. because we sure as hell didn’t want to do it. But suddenly, this economy is their fault…now we want those jobs…now we want them out.
_______________________________________________________

Thank you. I am so sick and tired of everyone blaming everything on illegal immigrants. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t have jobs and who gave them jobs?

What’s happening to our country isn’t their fault……………..it’s ours.

McAllister

February 16th, 2011
10:22 am

Kelly spews … “I didn’t see anyone pitching a fit when the economy was at it’s peak. Not one of you, including myself, was saying a word when the immigrants were doing our yard work, building our houses, repairing our streets, farming our crops, etc. because we sure as hell didn’t want to do it.”

MANY of US have been demanding for a long time to our lawmakers to get a control on illegal immigration. It is only that NOW they are listening to US. Locally we are getting done what our federal government has refused to do.

And NO Kelly, I am not to blame for any of this. I didn’t get one of these bad loans, I lost my job and found another, I had years of rainy day funds in the bank, no debt, never hired an illegal immigrant and reported as many as I could. So Kelly, YOU stop pointing fingers and start feeling guilty about all the crap that YOU did!

JDM – I live in Gwinnett and know all about the foreclsures listings. Yes, MANY MANY are hispanics!

And Kelly, Culture Shift has it right. What you added however was nothing significant. Did you even understand what that post was about?

bart

February 16th, 2011
10:31 am

No one denies we need immigration reform. However, blaming everything on illegal immigration is just stupid and a cop out. They have probably contributed to the economy much more than they’ve hurt it. We need to face the fact that in Georgia for the last 8 years we have had mediocre if not incompetent leadership. That’s certainly one of the contributing factors, but this issue is too complex to blame any one thing.

stand up

February 16th, 2011
10:32 am

Illegal immigrants and the welfare class have contributed to the destruction of our healthcare system and our educational system. You can deny it all you want, but when you “take” more than you “put in” to any given system, it is bound to happen.

Looks like Kelly and Peepeye are feeling guilty for their part, but making everyone else feel bad when they are are part of the problem.

LMAO

February 16th, 2011
10:33 am

“They have probably contributed to the economy much more than they’ve hurt it.”

Do you live under a rock?

Typical Liberal

February 16th, 2011
10:35 am

Blame it on Bush. It’s all the Republican’s fault. Waaaaaahhhhh. Waaaaaaahhhh. Can someone please change my diaper so I can catch the bus to cash my welfare check?

Pinche Huevos

February 16th, 2011
10:35 am

How about blaming the republicans in charge in the south? Are they not the lawmakers you elected?
Are they not the lawmakers you re-elected? Look in the mirror if you want to blame someone.

Mr Brightside

February 16th, 2011
10:47 am

thanks obama!

Pinche Huevos

February 16th, 2011
10:49 am

tp I know its hard to accept you supported a president and party that screwed you . Keep voting Republican .

Kelly

February 16th, 2011
10:58 am

First off, I’m not against controling illegal immigration, what I am against is blaming them for the problems this country is in. Secondly, McAllister, I to have years worth of savings, have managed to keep my job through this mess, my home is still mine, and I have managed to scoop up a few for rentals. I not only paid for my own education by working my way through college (without student loans or government grants) but I pay cash as I go and have never even applied for a credit card. Shy of my home a don’t owe a soul a dime, even my rental were paid for in full. I pay insurance for not only myself, but my kids, grandparents, and employees as well. And yes I pay 100% for the employees who work for me, and not because Obama says I have to offer it, but because it seems like the right thing to do (and yes they are all citizens). And yes, I am completely competent enough to understand Culture Shifts post. However, with this being said, I am not naive enough to believe that I had nothing to do with it. That none of the people I have ever voted for made it in office, and then turned around and passed a bill or law that completely came from left field of what I expected of the them when I cast that ballet. Because wouldn’t that make me part of it? If my vote counts, and someone I stood in line to vote for made crappy decisions, isn’t that playing a role? And although I have money in savings, dosen’t mean that what I did spend could have been spent wiser. Just because you call the cops on an immigrant when you get the oppertunity dosen’t quite make you a saint of blameless for that matter.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 16th, 2011
11:01 am

Very well stated Kelly @10:04.
It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror.

Goobers

February 16th, 2011
11:07 am

Looks like Gooberstan has many problems. Do you think that electing leaders such as Sonny Perdue, Linda Shrenko, Glenn Richardson, Kathy Cox, and such, who have just taken an 8-year diarrhea dump on the future of Jawja, and on the innocent faces of the children of Jawja, might be the cause of some of this?

Bright Idea

February 16th, 2011
11:14 am

The south is in trouble because of overpopulation.

PMC

February 16th, 2011
11:20 am

I think the main issue is because of rapid expansion and cost increases that did not coincide with higher wages.

People were in debt out of thier eyeballs in this state.

There was no way the growth rates of say housing prices of the last decade were sustainable.

The level of debt people carried in relation to thier income is the reason we are so financially stressed. Look at the amounts of empty houses/shopping centers etc that are half built STILL on the market.

We are so oversaturated it’s not even funny.

TOO many people TOO deep in debt with loans they could never hope to pay back… That’s the problem.

PMC

February 16th, 2011
11:25 am

That, and we’ve lost a heck of a lot of jobs that aren’t coming back. The ones available right now weren’t paying what they were….so, our goods and services are just too expensive.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 16th, 2011
11:26 am

95% of these posts explain our economic stress and why it will be a loooooooooooooong time before we see any glimpse of daylight.
As far as saving and living within your means, I would stack my record up against anyone on here.
Yet, I am in stress because this problem is way bigger than any county commissioner, state senator, state governor, past , present and future president. China will be the new world economic power in 20 to 25 years. Nothing is going to stop that plus they have 1.3 billion people. They are spitting out millions of highly educated and motivated students each year. And I’m only talking about China. Have you heard of India? Yeah, just keep focusing on the Mexicans. You will either adapt or go play in the traffic on 285.

Ditto Alert

February 16th, 2011
11:33 am

Kelly & GIVE ME A BREAK are the same posters

McAllister

February 16th, 2011
11:42 am

“You will either adapt or go play in the traffic on 285.”

Curbing ALL immigration is a MUST. The US cannot continue to be dumping ground for those that cannot make it in their own country. Turning a blind eye on what immigration, especially illegal, has done and decimated our healthcare system, schools, etc is sad. We should NOT “adapt” to that shift that will only continue to destroy the wellbeing of the US.

The US is suffering being we keep taking on the problems of the World. We have got to let other countries fail and let them take care of their own instead of US letting them come in and create a new welfare class.

Double

February 16th, 2011
11:44 am

Illegal immigration need controling.The southerner went to other states to get work in the past.Now those states are hurting,and some of the people move south to live cheaper ,and better climate.People have always moved to different areas.The problems are leadership.Stop electing these people for a lifetime.Demand term limits.Stop this blame game.Do not elect one party only.Elect both so there is competiton for your vote.Even electing both you get mostly the same,stop think.

ILLANA

February 16th, 2011
11:51 am

The south is in trouble because of overpopulation …

YES!!! AND MANY OF THEM LIVING IN ONE HOUSE! JUST LOOK AT THE MURDER IN GWINNETT WHERE THE LATINO FATHER KILLED HIS OWN 2 CHILDREN AND GRAVELY INJURED THE 3RD. THEY WERE LIVING IN THE BASEMENT OF THAT HOUSE.

WE HAVE SEVERAL HOME IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE 2 OR 3 ASIAN AND INDIAN FAMILIES ARE LIVING PER HOME. ONE HOME HAS 7 ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS. 7 KIDS THAT ARE USING AN ADDRESS TO INVADE OUR SCHOOLS. YET YOU CALL THE SCHOOL AND THE COUNTY AND THEY DO NOTHING!

GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. I HAVE TO SHOW MY INSURANCE CARD AND PAY MY MEDICAL BILL. GOING TO THE ER LOOKS LIKE THE UNITED NATIONS, AND PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF ARE THE ONLY PAYING CUSTOMERS.

ATF

February 16th, 2011
11:59 am

Notice that we are again joined by our southern brethren in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi in being in the bottom.

There is something we are doing wrong, some flaw in how we approach and deal with each other as a society that leaves us at the bottom of some measure after measure for year after year after year.

Perhaps the best that can be said is we are consistent.

Worrying about illegal aliens in our midst is another side issue that distracts us from rather than solves our problems. It is just the current version of how certain we are that we are somehow put-upon by the nebulous “they” – this time it is the illegals and the federal government.

I suggest we look at our state governments. The other states, those that are not one of our southern brethren, seem to find paths out of poverty and need in which we persist. They may move up and down in wealth and the progress of their people, but why are we in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina so frequently at the bottom?

Is the best we can say? At least we are not Mississippi!

Macy Whittham

February 16th, 2011
12:01 pm

I think we all can agree that illegal immigration has brought about many undesired changes. The entitlement mentaility came to a head when our government just continued to let them flow into this country. Many Americans felt “entitled” because they were US citizens having to pay more than what an illegal or an immigrant would get for free. Yes they do pay taxes, but they do take more than they give. That is the point where average Americans became greedy and entitled.

We need to do what is right for our hard working, always done the right things citizens. Until we start rewarding the good, and getting rid of the bad and unlawful our country will never regain anything good. The US will turn into something a lot less desirable than “unique”.

Macy Whittham

February 16th, 2011
12:10 pm

“There is something we are doing wrong”

What’s wrong is the COL in our southern states attracts people trying to escape whatever. We have low housing costs, property taxes, etc that people desire. A building boom that brought illegals and unskilled workers here. We attract the lowest common denominator.

“Worrying about illegal aliens in our midst is another side issue that distracts us from rather than solves our problems”

That’s exactly what they want, for people like you to put their heads in the sand long enough for them to get amnesty. They are a huge part of the problem, go out their and do your own research and observe.

We will never find solutions if we don’t address and resolve ALL the issues. Illegal immigration is a big part of the problem.

Dig Deeper

February 16th, 2011
12:20 pm

It is funny how no one mentions the elected state and local officials who have been elected throughout the South over the last 10 years. Georgia serves as the “red”print because ever since the state has gone from a Democratic Governor and Statehouse and become GOP lead; the results speak for themselves. But the “sheeple” will keep voting “anti-Obama”, “anti-democrat” instead of actually looking at the best person who can be elected. “We get what we voted for” and after 12 years of Perdue/Deal and the people of Georgia re-elect Deal, what more can you say?

Peepeye

February 16th, 2011
12:40 pm

If all illegal immigrants were Swedish bikini models, no one would be complaining about the large number of illegal immigrants we have in our country. Perhaps a few wives or girlfriends who lose their husbands or boyfriends, but that’s it. Even if the models got free welfare, medical benefits and took over all the professional jobs in the country. No one would complain. Most of the anti illegal immigrant is blatant racism.

Our country has alway exploited slave and/or cheap labor. The problem is we all tend to get angry at them when economic times change and we all have to deal long term consequences of exploiting this labor.

Imagine That!

February 16th, 2011
12:55 pm

@ Dig Deeper

Can you dig any deeper in the sand or butt that your head seems to be stuck in?
Small minded liberals like yourself are the true “sheeple” of society! Pity.

Imagine That!

February 16th, 2011
1:00 pm

@ Peepeye

So sorry that you feel exploited. You should have gotten an education if you didn’t want to go into “slave labor”. Your entitlement mentality will soon be abolished!

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 16th, 2011
1:04 pm

@Ditto Alert, no Kelly and I are not the same. I could be that Kelly is a business owner and so am I. Just started year #21.

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 16th, 2011
1:05 pm

Takes one to know one

February 16th, 2011
1:06 pm

“If all illegal immigrants were Swedish bikini models, no one would be complaining about the large number of illegal immigrants we have in our country. Perhaps a few wives or girlfriends who lose their husbands or boyfriends, but that’s it.”

Illegal is ILLEGAL. Stop dreaming – because those girls would toss you aside for something better. They like men that don’t live with mommy and daddy. You are probably not that good looking either! :(

Stop hiding behind illegal immigration because you have have something to hide. Anyone that supports them has their own hidden agenda!

Liar Liar

February 16th, 2011
1:09 pm

“I could be that Kelly is a business owner and so am I. Just started year #21.”

It’s fun playing pretend on the Internet. Dream on, dream until your dreams come true!

JDM

February 16th, 2011
1:22 pm

GIVE ME A BREAK – So how many illegal aliens does your business employ?

GIVE ME A BREAK

February 16th, 2011
1:27 pm

Liar Liar, you are like one of the guys who comes and cleans my septic tank and ask what I do?
I just smile as he drives out of my secluded 600 ft driveway.