First Mortgage Default Rate Plunges 40% from 2009: S&P
First mortgages led an overall decline in credit defaults in June, according to the Standard & Poor's/Experian indices today. First and second mortgage default rates declined to 3.3% and 2.4%, respectively in June, based on information from Experian's consumer credit database. First mortgage default rates slipped 5% from May and 45.2% from a year earlier, while second mortgage default rates were down 0.03% from May and 44.54% from a year ago. Similarly, bank card and automotive default rates inched down from May: "The consumer credit picture shows encouraging progress as default rates continue to fall across major categories and in the highlighted cities," said S&P managing director and chairman of the index committee David Blitzer. Overall default trends slipped in five major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) highlighted for the index. The New York MSA consumer default rate fell to 3.46% in June, down 12.11% from a month ago. Miami defaults fell 8.12% from a month earlier to 8.53%, while Chicago defaults are down 6.98% from May to 3.63% in June. "The data are consistent with reports that people continue to eschew debt and as the slow recovery from recession and financial turmoil continues," Blitzer added. "For the economy this is mixed news -- better credit quality, as seen in this report is clearly positive. However, as reported earlier by the Federal Reserve, consumers credit use is declining, dampening the outlook for spending." Lending to consumers continued to decline in April and May, according to June meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Additionally, spending in May dropped in both home furnishings and building materials, as the Commerce Department reported that retail numbers fell for the second straight month as consumers hold onto cash. Write to Diana Golobay.