AP outlets are sharing the big story that 35.1% of Americans are now in collections. Furthermore, the average amount owed is $5178. Now, if we want to dork around with numbers, we could believe the adage that the middle class is defined as those who worry about paying their bills. Here in Appalachia we get the idea that about half the folks are poor, judging from the number of kids getting subsidized lunches or the income levels for qualifying for county services. Therefore, it may be instructive to change our denominator to something closer to 50 to consider what portion of the population that is supposed to pay bills is failing to do so.

But as you surely surmised, this, like all other catastrophic underpinnings, is good for our redounding economic recovery:

The collections industry employs 140,000 workers who recover $50 billion each year.

The article being ubiquitous, I will choose to link to the HuffPo, because the last time I used their stats without any of my own mathmagic, I was eaten alive for my inaccuracies and misrepresentations.