Atlanta: Still Peachy?

There has been a lot of economic news as the lead story in the media over the past few weeks, with the financial markets and banking sectors getting more than their fair share of attention. Wall Street, U.S.A. is a mess; fortunately, Uncle Sam and Mr. Bush are right there to help them out. The biggest financial bail out package in history -- $700 billion -- is on the table and being considered.

But, is anyone really thinking about the folks down on Main Street, U.S.A.? What about all of those individuals who have suffered from the trickling down effects of the Wall Street debacles. The individuals who have seen their purchasing power decrease from adequate to bad to worse, or the individuals who have lost their job because their employer isn’t getting the expansion loan he had hoped for, or the individual who is in the process of losing their home because they don’t have the money to repay their mortgage loans. Is there a bail out package on the table for them? One that will help them keep their homes, their jobs, put food on the table and gas in their cars (that is, if you can find it).

The state of Georgia, and in particular, Atlanta, has been hard hit by the poor condition of the U.S. economy recently. According to Forbes, August jobless claims jumped by over 70% from the same period last year. It will probably be the same bad news for September, with one of Atlanta’s largest auto dealers closing its doors and letting go almost 2,700 people.

On the plus side, Atlanta property values have only dropped about 7%. I guess when you compare that to the 30% decline in cities such as Las Vegas and Miami, that’s a bit of a silver lining. On the negative side, despite the relatively minimal property value loss, foreclosures are skyrocketing in Atlanta; the State of Georgia, as a whole, ranks 3rd in the nation for late mortgage payments and 10th for foreclosures.

It was also recently reported that more and more middle class Atlantans are seeking help or counseling for excessive debt. And, the average annual income of Atlanta residents who sought credit counseling was just shy of $50,000. If it has gotten that bad for the middle class, it is exponentially worse for the less affluent.

One amazing fact about Atlanta is that, as history has long proven, it is a resilient city, with the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. The Atlanta economy will rebound as it always does, slowly, but surely. And the residents of Atlanta will also find a way to get back on sound financial footing. Better budgeting and more careful spending are good places to start, but if they aren't enough, there are alternatives, including debt reorganization through Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and debt forgiveness through Chapter 7. DebtStoppers offers a free personal debt analysis, and our attorneys are available for consultation.

Yes, the economic news out of Atlanta isn’t all that great and it will take some time before there’s any noticeable improvement. But, your personal economic news can get better with only a little effort on your part.

--Debt Diva

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