The recession caused the downfall of many companies and whole industries when consumers could no longer fund the services and goods provided. The dismal financial situation of the last few years has had an adverse effect on the debt collection sector, though, as recent reports note that the industry has continued to see growth. Marketdata Enterprises published the U.S. Debt Collection Agencies: An Industry Analysis report earlier this week found the industry is now worth an estimated $12.2 billion, according to 2011 figures. Debt recovery services are slated to grow slightly in 2012, and should the 4.6 percent gain occur, the sector will be worth $12.8 by the end of the year. The study explained that there are approximately 140,000 collection agents, all of whom collect an average of $245,000 in overdue debts annually. Most of their recovery is from past due credit card bills, but the frequency of debt agencies being contacted to recover overdue medical, utility and cell phone payments is increasing. The latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that one out of seven Americans is currently talking with a collector to pay off an outstanding balance.