Los Angeles has been a magnet for more than 100 years. Whether people come to LA for Hollywood, the beaches, the warm weather or the lifestyle, LA is a great place to live. Almost 4 million people call the LA metro area home, making the area the largest city in California and the second largest city in the US.
LA is number one for many economic reasons, but it is also a very expensive place to live. As you look through these numbers, one thing is obvious. It is very easy to get into debt in Los Angeles. It is expensive to live, expensive to buy a home, and expensive to rent.
Income in Los Angeles
The median income is $62,474. As of 2019, the minimum wage is $14.25 per hour. Despite the income and the minimum wage, 25.6% of Los Angeles County children under 18 live in poverty. This poverty rate is higher than the state average of 18%. For residents overall, 13.3% of all people in the Los Angeles metro area live under the poverty level. This rate has increased one percentage point since 2017.
- Median income: $62,474
- Minimum wage: $14.25/hour
- Children in poverty: 25.3%
- People in poverty: 13.3%
Homeowners in Los Angeles
Just over half (54.1%) of people in the metro area hold a mortgage. However, the median home price in California topped $$674,786 (2020). The per foot cost for homes in the metro area ranges between an average of $315 and $447, depending on the area. Rentals are just as expensive. The average rent is $2,620.
- Homeowner rate: 54.1%
- Median home price: $674,786
- Average rent: $2,620
As of December 2019, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. The underemployment rate is less apparent, but the state averages 11.3% of workers are underemployed. Underemployment is the percentage of civilian workers who are unemployed, employed part-time or are not seeking employment.
- Unemployment: 3.9% (2019)
- Underemployment: 11.3% (2017)
Debt Statistics in Los Angeles
Los Angelenos carry a lot of debt. In fact, five of the top ten cities in California with the highest credit card debt are in the LA metro area. The average credit card debt is $10,496 (2018). The average medical debt per person is under $4,000. The average student loan debt is lower than the US average but is $34,681.
- Avg credit card debt: $10,496 (2018)
- Avg medical debt per person: >$4,000 (2016)
- Avg mortgage debt: $$409,315 (2019)
- Avg student loan debt: $34,681 (2019)
Debt consolidation and debt settlement are options in LA. You’ll find more information in the next few sections.
Who Can Help Me With Debt Relief?
If you are one of the many people in the Los Angeles metro area that need help with debt, there are a number of options. Debt help in LA is available from both non-profit and for-profit agencies. We’ve listed some of the nonprofit debt assistance organizations to help you eliminate your Los Angeles debt.
Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs: help with opening a checking account, budgeting, financial services, and tax prep.
Los Angeles Credit Counseling
- DebtWave Credit Counseling (858-654-2141): DebtWave.org is a certified non-profit credit counseling organization that maintains an A+ rating with the BBB and has been in business for more than 16 years.
If you need more help, consider calling Pacific Debt, Inc for more information. Pacific Debt Inc is one of the leading debt settlement companies in the US and we have consistently been named one of the best for years. This year, we earned two #1 rankings for our customer service. We help you understand your options and whether or not debt settlement is your best option. If it is not, we can refer you to a trusted partner who may be more appropriate for your situation.
If you’d like more information on debt settlement or have more than $10,000 in credit card debt that you can’t repay, contact Pacific Debt, Inc. We may be able to help you become debt free in 2 to 4 years and we’ve settled over $300 million in debt for our customers since 2002.
Once you’ve completed our debt settlement program, your financial situation should start to improve. You’ll then be able to take the money you once had to pay towards your debt, and be able to use it for other purposes like saving, investing, retirement, etc.
Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Council and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.
For more information, contact one of our debt specialists today. The initial consultation is free, and our debt experts will explain to you all your options.
Helping All Areas of LA
Zipcodes: 90001, 90002, 90003, 90004, 90005, 90006, 90007, 90008, 90010, 90011, 90012, 90013, 90014, 90015, 90016, 90017, 90018, 90019, 90020, 90021, 90023, 90024, 90025, 90026, 90027, 90028, 90029, 90031, 90032, 90033, 90034, 90035, 90036, 90037, 90038, 90039, 90041, 90042, 90043, 90044, 90045, 90046, 90047, 90048, 90049, 90056, 90057, 90058, 90059, 90061, 90062, 90063, 90064, 90065, 90066, 90067, 90068, 90069, 90071, 90077, 90079, 90089, 90090, 90094, 90095, 90210, 90212, 90230, 90232, 90247, 90248, 90272, 90275, 90290, 90291, 90292, 90293, 90402, 90405, 90501, 90502, 90710, 90717, 90731, 90732, 90744, 90745, 90810, 90813, 91030, 91040, 91042, 91105, 91214, 91303, 91304, 91306, 91307, 91311, 91316, 91324, 91325, 91326, 91330, 91331, 91335, 91340, 91342, 91343, 91344, 91345, 91352, 91356, 91364, 91367, 91371, 91401, 91402, 91403, 91405, 91406, 91411, 91423, 91436, 91504, 91505, 91601, 91602, 91604, 91605, 91606, 91607, 91608.
Los Angeles, CA Area Codes: 213, 310, 323, 424, 626, 661, 747, 818
More Information about Debt and Collections
Statute of Limitations in Los Angeles
California’s statute of limitations lays out maximum time periods that debt collectors can take action against a delinquent debt. These statutes of limitations begin on the date that your debt goes delinquent.
For debts taken out in California, the following are the statutes of limitations for different types of debt.
- Oral agreements: 2 years
- Written contracts: 4 years
- Promissory notes: 4 years
- Credit cards and other revolving loans: 4 years
Los Angeles Debt Collection Laws
Californians are protected against unscrupulous debt collectors. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using abusive or harassing bill collection practices. In addition, the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA) add protections against more types of collectors and actions. If you are a victim of any of these actions, you may take legal action against them.
Overall, debt collectors can NOT:
- Charges more than 10% interest
- Garnish more than 25% of wages
- Use/threaten physical force or criminal tactics to harm you, your property, or your reputation
- Accusing you of committing a crime for not paying the debt
- Make/threaten to make defamatory statements to someone else
- Threaten arrest, to seize assets, or garnish wages, unless actually planning to take such action
- Use obscene or profane language
- Cause you to spend money you wouldn’t otherwise have spent (ie long-distance telephone calls)
- Call you repeatedly or let your phone ring repeatedly
- Call frequently
- Contact your employer, except to verify employment or health insurance status, garnish wages or locate you
- Reveal information about debt to anyone except your spouse or your parents if a minor.
- Publicly publish your name for failing to pay
- Send a postcard or letter with revealing information on the envelope
- Claim to be someone other than a debt collector, including a governmental official
- Use stationary that appears to be from a law firm
- Charge you collection or attorney’s fees unless legally allowable
- Threaten to report you to a credit reporting agency if they have no intention of doing so
- Send a letter claiming to come from a claim, credit, audit, or legal department unless it actually is
Debt collectors must:
- Disclose caller identification
- May contact your family to locate you
- Must serve you with notice of a lawsuit if suing you
- Must sue you in the county where you first incurred the debt
Bankruptcy Court Information
Bankruptcy is a legal action that can erase most of your debt, and your credit history. It is not an action to take lightly. If you do, you must follow the following steps in California.
Persons filing for bankruptcy must:
- Complete credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy.
- Complete a financial management instructional course after filing bankruptcy.
- Complete a Bankruptcy Act Means Test to determine if you are eligible for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy
- Itemize current income sources; major financial transactions; monthly living expenses; debts (secured and unsecured); and property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate).
- Collect last 2 years of tax returns, deeds to real estate you own, car titles, and loan documents
- File for bankruptcy
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy fee is $306
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy fee is $281
- Meet with court assigned bankruptcy trustee
- Attend a Meeting of Creditors
- Confirm plan if filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy