One nation drowning in debt

WORDVIRUS

…Why so many Americans are so exposed

Outdated laws enable collectors to seize up to 25 percent of debtors’ wages — and sometimes everything they own

Paul Kiel, ProPublica

One nation drowning in debt: Why so many Americans are so exposed
“It makes you feel hopeless, that you’re working for no reason and that you’re never going to be able to succeed,” said Cassandra Rose, shown above with Conrad Goetzinger on Sept. 10. (Eric Francis/AP for ProPublica)
This originally appeared on ProPublica.

ProPublicaThis story was co-published with NPR.

Like any American family living paycheck to paycheck, Conrad Goetzinger and Cassandra Rose hope that if they make the right choices, their $13-an-hour jobs will keep the lights on, put food in the fridge and gas in the car.

But every two weeks, the Omaha, Neb. couple is reminded of a choice they didn’t make and can’t change: A chunk of both of their paychecks disappears before they see it, seized…

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