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Updated Mar 16, 2012 - 1:13 pm

Debt-relief company seeing fewer in need

PHOENIX -- A Valley company that helps consumers with credit-card debt is having some hard times.

But that could actually be good news.

The non-profit company Take Charge America has had to make cutbacks. "A few days ago, we had to abolish 83 positions," says the company's Mike Sullivan. "Frankly, we just aren't doing the business we used to do. There aren't as many people calling."

Adds Sullivan, "The overall economy is getting better because there's less unsecured debt, less credit-card debt floating around out there."

Other experts think the economy won't improve until consumers start using their credit cards more often.

Sullivan says another reason that people aren't running up credit-card debt is because they can't get credit cards.

"(Credit issuers) are issuing less credit. They're being more careful of who they give credit to, and how much credit they give," Sullivan says. "Frankly, there's less opportunity for people to get in over their heads than even a few years ago."

Sullivan says Take Charge America aided its laid-off employees by awarding them five weeks' severance pay, a few months of medical insurance and help finding another job.

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