STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- The Urban Institute released a new study, showing a third of Americans have unpaid bills or owe money to collection agencies.
Some people say they are surprised by this high number, since the economy is slowly getting better.
The study found that student loan and credit card debt make up a smaller portion of the total debt collected.
Chief Risk Officer of Farm Credit of Virginia, Chip Saufley, said most debt collections stem from medical expenses and the disruption of health insurance benefits due to the recession.
Saufley said he finds this high number surprising especially for our area.
"People are generally a little more conscientious about their debt responsibilities from this area so we're not seeing that kind of level, especially in our portfolio," said Saufley.
If you struggle with debt collection, Saufley recommends you talk with your creditor on a regular basis and establish a budget plan to pay off your debt.
© Copyright 2014 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.