American Consumers Facing 'Imminent Economic Collapse' Without Additional Federal Stimulus, Per New LegalShield Report
Released today, the July 2020 LegalShield Law Index, a suite of leading indicators of the economic and financial status of U.S. households and small business, saw its Consumer Financial Stress Index remain little changed in July, despite widespread job loss since February, as Americans awaited the outcome of negotiations to extend federal fiscal support. However, in a worrying sign, the company's Bankruptcy Index rose for the first time in 9 months, reversing its steady downward trend in 2020 and marking the sharpest percent increase in series history. LegalShield has been measuring the demand for various legal services for nearly 16 years, collecting real-time data from consumers on those issues of greatest concern. The company's data, therefore, often detects trends before traditional indicators and is viewed as predictive.
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LegalShield Bankruptcy Index: Bankruptcies Begin to Rise (Graphic: Business Wire)
"For the first time in U.S. history, American consumers are facing an imminent economic collapse because of political gridlock in Washington D.C.," said LegalShield CEO Jeff Bell. "The earlier actions of Congress and the Federal Reserve forestalled a full meltdown of the U.S. economy, but without additional economic aid now our data suggest that we are on the precipice of an epic wave of small business and personal bankruptcies. In July, total intakes - consumer inquiries into specific legal services - surpassed 90,000 for the first month since January and were at the second highest level in nearly eight years, since August 2012. We are setting new record intakes each month aroundlandlord-tenant, billing and employment issues, showing the pain is only worsening. President Trump's recent executive actions are helpful only in focusing attention on the problem, not in solving the plight of millions of Americans. Only Congress with the power of the purse can do that, and lawmakers need to act boldly and quickly before we spiral completely out of control."
The LegalShield Law Index reflects the demand for legal services among the company's provider law firms in all 50 states, and includes five sub-indices focused on consumer financial stress, housing activity, real estate, bankruptcy and foreclosure. The five sub-indices tend to lead an existing economic indicator that sheds light on the health of the U.S. economy. Highlights from July are as follows:
About LegalShield and IDShield
A trailblazer in the democratization of affordable access to legal protection, LegalShield is one of North America's largest providers of online legal subscription plans covering more than 4.4 million people. Its IDShield identity theft solution for individuals and families has more than one million members. LegalShield and IDShield serve more than 141,000 businesses. In addition, over 40,000 companies offer LegalShield and IDShield plans to their employees as a voluntary benefit. Both legal and identity theft plans start for less than $25 per month. For more information about LegalShield, visit: https://www.legalshield.com/ or for more information about IDShield, visit: https://www.idshield.com/.