Swedes piling up the debts

400,000 Swedes fear that they will default on their debts in the coming two months, according to an alarming new report from the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogdemyndigheten).

Eva Lidström Adler at the authority appealed to the government to “develop a strong and dynamic national strategy to address the problem.”

The authority’s report will be the subject of an open hearing in the parliamentary civil committee on January 31st involving experts and power brokers, Dagens Nyheter writes.

585,000 Swedes, around 9 percent of the adult population, have on several occasions been unable to pay their bills in time. The debt burden is currently costing the society some 40 billion kronor per year, the authority reports.

“It is frightening. Especially as many debtors are living a life that no one wants to lead. It is shameful and many don’t have the strength to appeal for help,” Lidström Adler says.

The new report is based on interviews with creditors, debtors, collection agencies, debt counsellors and enforcement agency officials. TNS Gallup has also interviewed 4,445 people between the ages of 16-74 regarding their private financial situation.