Debt troubles affecting Swedes in record numbers

More and more Swedes are finding themselves hampered by unpaid debts.

Fresh statistics from the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogden), show it received a record 912,000 applications for debt collection orders 2007.

In addition receiving a record number of collection order applications, Kronofogden also assisted 7,000 Swedes reorganize personal debts in 2007, an increase of 78 percent compared with 2006.

“The picture that emerges in our annual report shows that over indebtedness has been, and continues to be, a big problem–both for those individuals affected as well as for society at large,” agency head Eva Liedström Adler said in a statement.

Kronofogden estimates that indebtedness costs Sweden 30 to 50 billion kronor ($4.8 to 7.9 billion) per year and that approximately 400,000 Swedes are in danger of not being able to pay their bills in the near future.

One positive result for 2007 is the reduction of the number of individuals and companies on the agency’s debt registry by 6,000, or 1.2 percent compared with 2006.

In addition, Kronofogden’s efforts have resulted in a 50 percent drop in the number of Swedes under 18 years of age registered with agency over the last five years.