Survey: Banks See Home Equity Delinquencies Edge Up

The number of past due home equity loans and lines of credit edged up in the second quarter, despite improvement in the delinquency rate on credit card installment debt, according to the American Bankers Association.

Home equity loan delinquencies rose to 2.48% from 2.02% in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. Home equity lines of credit also saw slight deterioration in credit quality, with the delinquency rate rising to 0.63% from 0.61% in the first quarter.

Home equity lines continued to have the lowest delinquency rate of any consumer loan category in the ABA survey.

In one bright note, the troubled manufactured housing sector saw some improvement in the second quarter, with the delinquency rate falling to 5.98% in the second quarter from 6.16% in the first quarter.

Overall, the ABA's composite delinquency rate on closed-end, consumer installment loans rose to 2.18% from 2.12% in the first quarter. Credit card delinquencies fell slightly to 4.04% from 4.07%.

ABA chief economist James Chessen said record high levels of mortgage refinancing helped to "cushion" the impact of a soft job market, allowing many consumers to lower their monthly debt payments.

"Until job losses become job gains, significant improvements in delinquency rates are unlikely," he said.

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