A Bankrupt System

The latest issue of the Facing South email newsletter is now online. Here's the ever-popular Institute Index:
INSTITUTE INDEX - A Bankrupt System
  • Number of individuals who declare bankruptcy each year: 1.6 million
  • Of 15 states with highest rates of personal bankruptcies, number in the South: 7
  • Percent of bankruptcies that result from job loss, medical bills, or divorce: 90
  • Rank of elderly among fastest-growing age group for bankruptcies: 1
  • Percent that credit card debt increased for the elderly from 1989 to 2001: 149
  • Amount consumers lose annually to predatory mortgages, payday loans, and other credit abuses: $16 billion
  • Estimated annual profits of the credit card industry: $30 billion
  • Amount in federal political contributions from banks and credit card companies over last six years: $101 million
  • Vote of Senate Judiciary Committee in approving a measure to restrict ability of consumers to discharge debt through bankruptcy, now before the full Senate: 12 to 5
You can read the rest -- including top news stories from around the region -- here. And if you want to get future issues of Facing South delivered right to your inbox, don't forget to sign up using the form in the upper right-hand corner!