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DS News Webcast: Friday 4/18/2014

Data through March 2014 found that national credit default rates declined for the month, according to the S&P Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices. The national composite recorded its lowest post-recession rate, posting a rate of 1.2 percent in March—the lowest the composite rate has been since July 2006. March continued the streak of monthly declining composite rates, falling from February's figure of 1.3 percent. The first mortgage default rate fell to 1.13 percent, the lowest level since September 2006.

All 5 national indices showed a decline for the second consecutive month. Second mortgage default rates posted at 0.6 percent for March, down from 0.69 percent in February, and down from the March 2013 index rate of point 0.69 percent. The companies cited a growing economy as fueling the decline in credit default rates and voiced future concerns, noting specifically the increase in lending for car purchases to less credit worthy borrowers as well as the continued rise in student loan debt.

Lenders closed on a greater share of mortgages last month compared to February—and they did it at a faster pace, according to mortgage software provider Ellie Mae. The company's latest Origination Insight Report found that out of a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior to March, 58 percent closed last month. That rate is up from 55.3 percent in February and from the 2013 average of 54 percent. At the same time, the average time to close in March fell to 40 days for all loans, down one day compared to February.

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