Total household debt outstanding increased by about 24 billion dollars up t0 11 point 85 trillion dollars, an increase of about 0 point 2 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's quarterly Household Debt and Credit Report. Mortgage balances, which are the largest component of household debt, as well as balances on home equity lines of credit, both remained largely unchanged in Q1 at $8.17 trillion and $510 billion, respectively.
Delinquency rates improved overall in the first quarter of 2015. At the end of Q1, about $679 billion of household debt was in some stage of delinquency, representing about 5 point 7 percent of outstanding debt, a decline from 6 percent reported at the end of the previous quarter. About $501 billion of that delinquent debt is seriously delinquent. About 112 ,000 consumers added a foreclosure notation to their credit reports during Q1, which was the lowest total reported for any quarter in the 16-year history of the data.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that an underwater second mortgage cannot be extinguished, or "stripped off," as unsecured debt for a debtor in bankruptcy, according to the Supreme Court's website. Bank of America sued two underwater Florida homeowners who had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had second mortgages with the bank extinguished by a bankruptcy judge following the housing crisis of 2008. On Monday, just more than two months after hearing arguments for the case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bank of America.