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At the height of COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's unemployment rate soared to 15%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The fallout on American workers was immediate as many lost their paychecks or saw their wages plummet overnight. However, broadly speaking, in much of the country, the economic damage from the pandemic did not prove to be as devastating as many first predicted.

The majority of Americans did feel a money crunch, but various surveys show mixed results. Partially because of government stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and a more watchful eye on their spending, Americans appear to have weathered the economic turmoil fairly well -- at least so far.

According to the nonprofit think tank Urban Institute, most Americans shored up their bank accounts and kept their spending in check. The median amount of debt in collection nationwide rose a scant $16 between February and October 2020, inching up from $1,833 to $1,849 -- though this amount varies by state.

In Virginia, the median amount of debt in collections climbed slightly from $1,776 to $1,804 between February and October 2020. The $28 change ranks as the 21st largest increase among the 30 states to report an uptick in median debt in collections agencies.

Though the typical amount of debt in collections increased in Virginia in the early months of the pandemic, other important financial indicators improved. Likely due in large part to certain provisions of the CARES Act, the mortgage delinquency rate fell from 2.7% in February 2020 to 1.4% in October 2020. The act, which was passed in March 2020, stipulated that federally-backed lenders suspend mortgage collections from borrowers in single-family homes if they were faced with financial hardship resulting from the pandemic.

All data in this story is from Urban Institute's "Credit Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic" report.

 

StateChange in median debt in collections ($)Median debt in collections, Feb. 2020 ($)Median debt in collections, Oct. 2020 ($)
Oklahoma+1202,1222,242
Alaska+1082,0732,181
Nebraska+922,0032,095
Nevada+832,1322,215
Utah+751,8911,966
Missouri+731,9482,021
Mississippi+711,7741,845
Washington+621,7941,856
Texas+612,1022,163
California+541,8421,896
New Hampshire+541,6741,728
Vermont+461,7021,748
Maryland+411,5691,610
Florida+392,1862,225
Alabama+361,9171,953
Georgia+351,9481,983
Louisiana+351,8991,934
Massachusetts+351,5491,584
Wyoming+312,4782,509
Iowa+301,6471,677
Virginia+281,7761,804
Minnesota+271,7001,727
Illinois+251,5471,572
Tennessee+121,9471,959
South Dakota+112,2012,212
Rhode Island+91,7941,803
Kansas+51,7461,751
Oregon+21,5401,542
Arizona+12,0512,052
Pennsylvania+11,8211,822
Maine-31,6941,691
New York-51,7551,750
New Jersey-71,3791,372
Arkansas-81,6711,663
Indiana-161,8721,856
Kentucky-271,3421,315
Ohio-291,5291,500
New Mexico-371,7611,724
Montana-381,8371,799
Delaware-441,8911,847
Colorado-451,6821,637
Idaho-452,3072,262
Michigan-511,5531,502
West Virginia-621,6431,581
Hawaii-731,9991,926
Connecticut-791,6251,546
South Carolina-1002,1972,097
North Carolina-1021,6701,568
Wisconsin-1481,8541,706
North Dakota-2442,1581,914

 

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This article originally ran on 247wallst.com.

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