October 7, 2014

Tuesday's Number: Third Quarter Recap

We can now put another quarter of Tuesday’s Numbers to bed.

This morning's totals were the last of the third quarter and overall, things are not trending all that well.  While the total this quarter is marginally lower than last, and the number of filings is also down, judgment filings are up, but satisfied judgments are down. Bankruptcies are also down.

Take a look at the totals for this quarter:
·         Judgments totaled $6,817,240, up $260,845
·         Satisfied judgments totaled $94,810, down $227,323
·         Bankruptcies totaled $384,370, down $43,791

Here's a four-quarter look back; doesn't really look like all that much progress does it? 
  • Q3 2014: 329 filings, for $7,296,420, an average of $22,178 per filing
  • Q2 2014: 396 filings, for $7,306,698, an average of $18,451 per filing
  • Q1 2014: 253 filings, for $5,499,218, an average of $21,736 per filing
  • Q4 2013: 333 filings, for $6,934,379, an average of $20,824 per filing
Just to put some perspective on the numbers, a person working full time (40 hours per week) at $10 per hour, which is where some have suggested the minimum wage should be, would gross $20,800 per year. That's not even enough to pay the average per-filing medical debt for three of the last four quarters. 

For roughly this quarter's average, just over $22K, you can buy a 2014 car at most local car dealers. Purchase a full year of education at a whole host of SUNY schools, if you're a New York resident.  Make the maximum 'non-family' contribution to each of two NY State Senate candidates in the general election. Have almost enough -- almost, but not quite -- to cover the average cost of having two kids in day care in Onondaga County for a year.  

Over $19.5 million in medical debt (after taking out the satisfied judgments) in 39 weeks, just in the Syracuse area. I continue to be boggled by these numbers, and by our complacency with them. 

What do you think? Is it just me, or o are these numbers OK? Is it policy and politics, or personal responsibility, that's behind these numbers? 

I'd love to hear from folks on this -- let's talk.