Delinquency Bulletin: Subprime Mortgage Downfall Appears Contained

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin found that late payments for indirect auto loans were up slightly for the second quarter. These delinquencies increased to 2.77 percent from 2.73 percent.

Meanwhile, direct auto loan delinquencies were up slightly from 1.68 percent to 1.69 percent.

"Consumers fared reasonably well in the second quarter despite turmoil in the subprime mortgage market" said James Chessen, ABA chief economist. "Relatively good numbers in income and job growth have helped to limit spillover to other consumer loans." 

The fact that credit card repayment rates led mortgage repayment rates may seem to go against conventional wisdom, according to Chessen. But consumers' priorities can shift, especially for borrowers who face a one-two punch: higher interest payments on their adjustable rate mortgages and declining equity as their home prices fall.   

"Not surprisingly, customers may feel helpless when faced with a mortgage reset they can't afford, but they still want to keep up with other payments," said Chessen. "People need to pay for gas and their cars so that they can get to work." 

The news for home equity loans was mixed. Delinquencies for home equity lines of credit, which is the lowest delinquency rate category, increased to 0.77 percent from 0.60 percent. But closed-end home equity loan delinquencies decreased to 1.99 percent from 2.15 percent.

The number of delinquent accounts in the composite ratio, which tracks eight closed-end installment loan categories, decreased to 2.27 percent from 2.42 percent.

Continuing on, ABA discovered that property improvement loan delinquencies declined to 1.46 percent from 1.61 percent. 

As for personal loan delinquencies, they actually decreased a bit from 2.08 percent to 2.05 percent.

Late payments on mobile home loans were down from 2.94 percent to 2.61 percent, while marine loan delinquencies were down from 1.41 percent to 1.23 percent.

ABA also found that recreational vehicle loan delinquencies decreased to 0.94 percent from 1.03 percent.
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