Default Rates Improve in January

January’s first-mortgage defaults declined 10 basis points from December and 50 basis points from January 2012 to 1.58%, as tracked by the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.

The improvement in first-mortgage delinquencies was the driver of the composite index falling nine basis points from December and 53 basis points from January 2012 to 1.63% (the composite index includes first and second mortgages, credit cards and auto loans).

The second mortgage delinquency index is at 0.69%, unchanged from December; in January 2012, it was 1.3%.

The January numbers reverse the increase seen in the first-mortgage index between November and December. The second-mortgage index also increased during that time frame.

David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said, “The beginning of 2013 continued the positive trend in consumer credit quality that we witnessed in 2012.”