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ABA: Late Payments Rise for Home Equity Loans

The American Bankers Association said in its quarterly survey of consumer loans that delinquencies on home equity loans rose to 2.15 percent in the first quarter, up sharply from 1.92 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006. Mobile home loan delinquencies also increased to 2.94 percent from 2.82 percent, the association said. It’s a shame these reports are lagging, because nearly everyone in the mortgage industry knows where delinquency rates went during the second quarter. In spite of the current trouble, the ABA’s chief economist sees a brighter future in 2008. “There are still signs of consumer financial distress, which will continue throughout most of this year as the worst of the housing problem works its way through the economy,” Chessen said, referring to the sharp increase in the composite ratio, particularly items directly related to housing. I’m a bit more bearish than Chessen: I think we’ll see moderation of market conditions in 2008, with signs of recovery in the middle half of next year. I suspect, however, that a full recovery in won’t be in swing until early 2009. (All bets are off, of course, if the economy falters and inflation rears its ugly head.)

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