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HEL Delinquency Rises

2.82% 3rd quarter HEL delinquency, ABA survey says

January 10, 2005

By MortgageDaily.com staff

More borrowers struggled to make timely home equity loan payments, but payments on home-secured lines-of-credit and mobile home loans held up, according to a survey of U.S. bankers.

Third quarter home equity loan delinquencies increased to 2.82% from the second quarter's 2.50%, the American Bankers Association reported in its latest Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The latest figure is also higher than that of 2.52% in the third quarter 2003.

"Increased delinquencies with home equity loans...are an indication of ongoing financial stress for some consumers," said ABA chief economist James Chessen in the announcement.

"Consumer pocketbooks still felt the pinch of elevated gas prices, draining resources that would otherwise have been available to meet financial obligation," he added. "Moreover, with mortgage refinancings hitting a four-year low, consumers' ability to consolidate debt at lower interest rates and take advantage of equity appreciation in their homes was severely limited."

For mobile home loans, however, the delinquency rate sunk 42 basis points from the second quarter to 5.20%, ABA reported, which is also lower than 6% a year earlier.

Of all the analyzed credit categories at the banking institutions, home equity lines of credit reportedly continued to be the category with the lowest delinquency rate -- unchanged from the previous quarter at 0.38%. In the third quarter 2003, the figure was 0.52%.

The composite ratio of closed-end installment loans 30 days or more past due was 1.90%, up 10 BPS from the second quarter. This ratio tracks eight types of closed-end installment loans, including personal, auto and home equity, ABA said.

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