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Consumer loan delinquencies fell in seven loan categories, marking the first time since 2007 that so many loan categories experienced declines, according to the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.

RV loans remained the top-performing among the seven categories, with the delinquency rate falling from 1.72% to 1.64%.

The composite ratio, which tracks eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell 12 basis points to 3.23% of all accounts compared to 3.35% of all accounts in the previous quarter. Bank card delinquencies fell 24 basis points to 4.77% of all accounts. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.

ABA Chief Economist James Chessen said the news was positive, but the weak economy and job losses continue to weigh on consumers.

“Delinquencies may be near their peak as job losses have slowed. Consumers are working hard to get their financial houses in order by spending less, saving more, and paying down debt. But there’s still a bumpy road ahead with many people unemployed and family budgets stretched to their limits,” Chessen said.

Chessen also attributed the lower delinquency rates to banks writing off bad loans.

“Banks are putting losses behind them, setting the stage for expanded lending to consumers as the economy recovers,” he said.

Auto loans showed continued improvement. Direct auto loan delinquencies fell nearly half a point to 2.04% of all accounts and indirect auto loan delinquencies (arranged through auto dealers) dropped to 3.15% of all accounts compared to 3.26% of all accounts in the previous quarter.

“It’s always a good sign when delinquencies decline, but they’re still relatively high,” Chessen said. “Until the economy generates more jobs and the housing sector stabilizes, they’re likely to stay that way.”

Housing-related loans continued to show stress. Home equity loan delinquencies hit another record, jumping 29 basis points to 4.3% of all accounts. Home equity lines of credit delinquencies also hit a new record, rising 20 basis points to 2.12% of all accounts. Mobile home delinquencies increased to 3.63% of all accounts from 3.53% of all accounts in the previous quarter.

The third quarter composite ratio is made up of the following eight closed-end loans. All figures are seasonally adjusted based upon the number of accounts.

Increased Delinquencies:

  • Home equity loan delinquencies rose from 4.01% to 4.3%.
  • Mobile home loan delinquencies rose from 3.53% to 3.63 %.

Decreased Delinquencies:

  • Direct auto loan delinquencies fell from 2.46% to 2.04%.
  • Indirect auto loan delinquencies fell from 3.26% to 3.15%.
  • Marine loan delinquencies fell 2.28% to 2.21%.
  • Personal loan delinquencies fell from 3.90% to 3.74%.
  • Property improvement loan delinquencies fell from 1.79% to 1.66%.
  • RV loan delinquencies fell from 1.72% to 1.64%.