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Editorial: Studies Show That Debt Collectors Target Black People More Than Other Races

Survey says Blacks & Whites have equal level of debt, yet Blacks are targeted more.

There may just be a plausible explanation as to why so many Black people tend to dodge bill collectors, and it may not be for the reason you think. According to a new survey, African-Americans are more likely than Whites to be called by debt collectors, despite the fact that both racial groups reported relatively equal levels of debt and repayment rates.

The NAACP Economic Department and Demos, a think tank, collaborated on a survey of moderate-income American households with credit card debt. According to their findings, Black Americans were not any more likely than Whites to be late on a payment, nor were they more likely to declare bankruptcy or get evicted, yet somehow respondents of color reported a higher frequency of phone calls from debt collectors.

One explanation for this discovery is that Blacks tend to have lower credit scores than White Americans, which has widened over the past several years since the national financial crisis after subprime lenders were more likely to target African-American homebuyers during the housing boom.

In addition, Black Americans have been hit the hardest by the country’s recession and now recovering economy. The unemployment rate for African-Americans is more than double that of Whites with 12.5 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. Moreover, Blacks have a more difficult time getting a home loan and make earn significantly less than their White peers.

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