Cracks Are Appearing in Australia’s Trillion-Dollar Debt Pile

The Reserve Bank of Australia frequently seeks feedback on the health of the economy. It might want to call the debt counselors soon. Homeowners, consumers and property investors around Australia are making more calls to financial helplines as three warning signs back up the spike in demand: mortgage arrears are creeping up, lenders’ bad debt provisions have increased and personal insolvencies are near an all-time high, Bloomberg News reported. “Its steadily out of control -- I don’t know of too many financial counseling services where demand doesn’t exceed supply,” said Fiona Guthrie, chief executive officer of Financial Counselling Australia, who says the biggest increase in calls is from people suffering mortgage stress. “There are more people who have got mortgages that they can’t afford to pay.” Australia’s households are among the world’s most indebted after bingeing on more than A$1 trillion ($766 billion) of mortgages amid a housing boom that’s fizzled out in parts of the country, but still roaring in Sydney and Melbourne. Read more.
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