A deteriorating housing picture, coupled with an increase in expenses and a drop in consumer confidence, led to a sharp decline in consumers’ financial health during the third quarter. The nonprofit credit counseling agency CredAbility puts out a regular quarterly index measuring consumer distress. Between July and September, the gauge recorded its largest drop since the third quarter of 2008. CredAbility’s data show the average consumer has been in distress for 12 straight quarters now.
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