Utah League Urges Caution on Consumer Debt
With a rise in foreclosures and delinquency filings, Utah apparently has become a late blooming sand state, but agencies and lawmakers need to proceed cautiously in adopting consumer debt remedies, according to Scott Simpson, president/CEO of the Utah League of Credit Unions.
Speaking out on a proposed voluntary "Responsible Debt Relief Assessment" plan linked to consumer counseling agencies and proposed by a Salt Lake City foundation, Scott said such proposals need careful study before being implemented.
The league, along with the Utah Bankers Association, Utah Division of Consumer Protection, Gov. Gary Herbert and House Speaker David Clark, were listed as participants in a press briefing detailing the consumer debt package.
The package, sponsored by AAA Fair Credit Foundation, is aimed, said its backers, at minimizing collection costs and making it "more humane" for debtors to pay off loans.
The package was being touted by Robert Manning, a Rochester N.Y. consumer finance educator and author of Credit Card Nation: America's Dangerous Addition to Credit.
Simpson said league support for the debt relief plan remains premature awaiting more scrutiny, but it is becoming clear that the state's economic woes have put it is in the same class as California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
In the past, Utah often lagged the rest of the country when economic downturns occurred, but now the state "with a burst of the housing bubble in mid-2009" seems to have caught up with other states on rising bankruptcies and foreclosures. The recession's impact has triggered state discussion about ways to tamp negative trends, said Simpson.