The major cases of over-indebtedness relate to structural changes in capitalist economies, namely liberalization of consumer credit markets and economic crises. This chapter covers the developments leading to the liberalization of consumer credit markets in six countries and the context of debt problems before, during and after the Global economic crises. The conceptual framework for studying causes of over-indebtedness is based on individual and structural factors which increase the costs of debts, decrease incomes and increase the cost of living. Each of these categories is discussed with research results and examples from six countries.
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