Debt charge-offs not consumer payoffs reducing credit card debt

credit card debt
credit card debt

We've been hearing for the past 16 months that consumer debt is going down. Well, it's not because people are paying off their debt more aggressively.

Instead, we've learned it's because credit card companies wrote down $83 billion of the $93 billion in credit card reductions. Consumer credit card debt declined by just $10 billion with most of that pay down in the first quarter of 2009.

That's what Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO and founder of, concluded after he took a closer look at the data from the Federal Reserve. Papadimitriou worked for eight years at Capital One's credit card division before starting He has his MBA from Duke University.