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Home-Equity Delinquency Mixed

HELOC 30-day lates 1.10%

July 2, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Late payments on home-equity mortgages was mixed, with open-end loans worsening and closed-end loans improving.

Delinquency of at least 30 days on home-equity lines-of-credit was 1.10 percent during the first quarter, the American Bankers Association reported today in its Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Late payments were up 14 basis points from the fourth quarter and 50 BPS higher than the first quarter 2007.

"Continued stress in the housing market combined with general weakness in the overall economy contributed to an increase in the delinquency rates for home-equity lines-of-credit," ABA said in the statement. "This was the highest recorded rate for this category since ABA began collecting the series in 1987."

The trade group's chief economist, James Chessen, explained that borrowers were impacted by a combination of slowing income growth or job losses, declining asset values and rising food and energy prices.

Still, the trade group noted, HELOC delinquency remains lower than all other consumer credit categories.

And delinquency on home-equity loans declined to 2.34 percent from 2.39 percent in the previous quarter. A year earlier, however, HEL delinquency was 2.15 percent.

Also down were late payments on property improvement loans, which fell to 1.78 percent from 1.81 percent.

Mobile home loans saw delinquency jump 30 BPS to 3.22 percent.

Chessen said he expects elevated delinquency levels to continue during the near term.

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