U.S. Debt Woes Grow as Unpaid Credit Card Bills Surge

Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate.

An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country's largest card issuers found delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year.

The A-P found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.

Experts say these signs of the deterioration of finances of many
households are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis
-- and could spell more trouble ahead.

Many economists expect delinquencies and defaults to rise further after the holiday shopping season.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-23-07 1505EST