Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unemployed dumping car leases

The unemployed are walking away from their car leases in droves as more laid-off workers see their jobless benefits cut off, reports

The company, which helps match up people who want out of their car leases with those looking for a shorter-term lease, said it expects to process 7.3% more listings in June from people whose unemployment benefits have ended or are about to end.

"Unemployment benefits have been keeping millions of Americans afloat since the recession began," said Sergio Stiberman, chief executive of "When the clock runs out on benefits, people still jobless look to find ways of further cutting their bills. The ability to transfer a car lease contract can save a person more than $500 each month while keeping their credit intact."

The company said the majority of its lease listings are in California and other high-unemployment states including Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan. California's unemployment was 12.4% in May, third highest in the nation. noted the surge in listings coincides with the failure by Congress to approve HB 4213, a bill that would allow extended unemployment benefits through November.

One version of the bill was approved by the House just before Memorial Day, but it has gotten bogged down in the Senate in a disagreement over how to pay for the $100 billion cost. Unemployment aid is just one of a host of issues included in the bill that have delayed its passage.

The California Employment Development Department estimates more than 234,000 laid-off workers in this state alone have had their benefits cut off since the last unemployment extension bill expired in early June.

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