Some of our Kentucky readers may remember playing video games such as Centipede, Missile Command, Asteroids, Battlezone and Pong years ago. Lovers of those games may not be seeing those titles again, as the company responsible for them, Atari SA, has filed for bankruptcy protection in both New York and Paris.
Our Kentucky readers may have noticed that our overall debt as a nation has decreased. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, America's total debt fell a nearly $74 billion in the third quarter, but credit-card debt actually went up an estimated $2 billion during the same time period.
Our Pennsylvania readers might be familiar with the companies JC Penney, Avon and American Airlines for a myriad of reasons. Something that may not be so familiar to consumers is that these three companies are among a list of brands that is facing bankruptcy and are projected to disappear completely in 2013. This list was put together by a financial news site after researchers analyzed American companies based on their market relevance, overall fiscal health, sales and consumer base. The accuracy of the list, made by 24/7 Wall St., was tested in 2011 when they predicted that automaker American Suzuki, mobile carrier MetroPCS and Current TV would all be brands that disappear. Sure enough, all three companies had fizzled out by 2012.
Many people in Kentucky and elsewhere start out the New Year with the goal of spending less and saving more, and if you are already on the radar of debt collectors that goal can become even more difficult. Whether credit card debt, student loans or other types of debt there are more than 30 million Americans targeted by debt collectors today, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Thus it may be a good time to remind consumers of their rights when it comes to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.