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Delinquencies Remain Low But Household Debt Rises

Total household debt has risen for 16 straight quarters, reaching a new peak in the second quarter, according to the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit released this week by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Total household debt rose by $82 billion over the second quarter, landing at $13.29 trillion. This is $618 billion more than the previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008, according to the Federal Reserve.

Housing debt, which consistently composes the largest share of consumer debt, made up $9.43 trillion of consumer debt in the second quarter, while non-housing debt contributed the remaining $3.86 trillion.

Mortgage balances rose by $60 billion over the second quarter and are up $308 billion over the year as of the second quarter. New mortgage loan originations in the second quarter totaled $437 billion. “Mortgage originations have been relatively stable in the past six quarters,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Home equity lines of credit continued to decline, falling by $4 billion over the quarter and by $20 billion over the year. Home equity lines of credit total $432 billion as of the end of the second quarter.

Non-housing debt increased $26 billion in the second quarter. Auto loan debt and credit card debt both increased over the second quarter, while student loan debt declined by $2 billion. Still, student loan debt made up the highest portion of non-household debt in the second quarter, totaling $1.41 trillion. Auto loans were not far behind at $1.24 trillion.

Serious mortgage loan delinquencies—those 90 or more days overdue—ticked up slightly over the second quarter, rising from 1.1 percent to 1.2 percent. Similarly, the rate of serious delinquencies among home equity lines of credit rose from 1.0 percent to 1.1 percent in the second quarter.

About 76,000 foreclosures were filed during the second quarter, which is similar to the first quarter. “Foreclosures remain very low by historical standards,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted in its report.

Student loan delinquencies declined in the second quarter but are still well above any other debt category. Student loan delinquencies fell from 8.9 percent to 8.6 percent in the second quarter.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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