The housing crisis that swept the nation a decade ago may be rebounding, at least as far as foreclosures are concerned. It used to be the case that foreclosed upon homes -- sitting vacant with their lawns unmowed and windows and doors boarded up - were an all too common sight in DuPage County, and across the nation. These foreclosed upon properties were not only detrimental to the homeowners, but they even brought down the value of their neighbors' property as well.
The use of credit cards has been rising in the United States for decades. The result of a cost of living, including medical costs and other sometimes unexpected necessities, that has tended to outstrip real wage gains for the working class, has been that many people are thousands of dollars in debt. Add in the prevalence of high-interest rate cards being available for people with less satisfactory credit, and the pushing by the popular media of a consumer mindset, and you have the makings of a debt crisis in Illinois and across the country.
Some people in Illinois may find credit cards to be frivolous. After all, with a swipe of the card any luxury item can be purchased without thought about how the card owner is going to pay the debt back. However, credit cards are often used for much more necessary purposes. A car repair, a medical bill, even food or gas may all get put on a credit card when a person has no other means to afford these basic life necessities.
As we have previously observed, it is relatively easy for Illinois residents to find themselves in situations in which they will have a hard time paying off their debts. Medical bills, unemployment, business failures and the like can create circumstances in which it may seem impossible to continue to afford to pay one's creditors. For people in this position, filing for bankruptcy might be an answer, as it could allow them to discharge their major debts without completely paying them, thus allowing for a new start financially.
The U.S. health care system has been a hot button topic for several years now. Its importance has only increased with the arrival of a new executive administration in Washington D.C. and the promises it made on the campaign trail. But regardless of how the issue is used as a political football, to many Illinois residents, how the system works, or rather, doesn't can be a very personal problem.