Mortgage defaults decline in December
More Americans are coming current and staying current on their debts, according to the latest Consumer Credit Default Indices released today by Standard & Poor’s and Experian. For mortgages, the data shows a turnaround in month-on-month behavior. December's monthly default rates for first and second mortgages stand at 2.93% and 1.74% respectively. In November mortgage defaults were on the rise, with default rates for first and second mortgages at 3.05% and 1.80% respectively. However, the November rise in defaults proved to be a blip, the only such month of mortgage default increase since December 2009. The year over year decline in mortgage defaults currently stands at around 34%. “Nationally, consumers continue to gradually improve their financial condition,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “Debt-service ratios, the proportion of disposable income that goes to paying debt, continues to decline." Consumer credit defaults varied across major cities and regions of the U.S. Among the five major metropolitan statistical areas reported each month, Los Angeles and Chicago experienced a decrease in defaults this month to 3.07% and 3.13%, respectively. Dallas was the only one that had increased in default rates at 2.21%. Miami and New York defaults declined slightly to 10.15% and 3.01% respectively. Auto loans experienced the biggest decline this month to 1.68% from 1.76% in November. The Indices are calculated based on data extracted from Experian's consumer credit database. The credit rating agency, S&P, powers the data. This database is populated with individual consumer loan and payment data submitted by lenders to Experian every month, covering approximately $11 trillion in outstanding loans sourced from 11,500 lenders. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.