Late payments on equity loans rise

July 3, 2008 at 2:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- Delinquency rates on home-equity loans are higher than they have been in more than a decade, the American Bankers Association said.

Late payments have reached an 11-year high as "the consumer is getting hit from all directions," Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers told USA Today.

Consumers most often deal with home loans as the highest priority, followed by car loans and then credit card debt, the newspaper reported. As such, "that people are now having trouble making payments on home-equity lines is a clear sign of the extent of the pressure on the household budgets," Naroff said.

ABA chief economist James Chessen predicted late payments would continue due to "anemic personal income growth, falling home equity and stock values, job losses, and rising food and energy prices."

"The tax stimulus is helping to boost personal income, but persistently high gas and food prices will eat away at overall resources," he said in a statement.

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