African-Americans are more likely than whites to be called by debt collectors even though both groups report having equal levels of debt and repayment rates, a new survey from Demos and the NAACP Economic Department found.
The two organizations surveyed moderate-income American households with credit card debt and discovered that African Americans were no more likely than whites to be late on a payment, to declare bankruptcy, or to get evicted.
So why are blacks biting the bullet?
“African-American households are more likely to have been called by bill collectors because they are more likely to have blemishes on their credit history that would send debts to collection agencies,” Catherine Ruetschlin, an author of the Demos report, told The Huffington Post.
In addition, it appears that African Americans receive more calls due to the fact that they tend to have lower credit scores than white Americans, according to research. With the financial crisis widening that gap and subprime lenders targeting African Americans during the housing boom, blacks are more likely to have credit scores that could be damaged for several years.