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U.S. mortgage debt tops 2008 record

By
Clyde Hughes
Mortgage debt in the United States has hit a new high. File Photo by David Pino Photography/Shutterstock
Mortgage debt in the United States has hit a new high. File Photo by David Pino Photography/Shutterstock

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Mortgage debt in the United States has surpassed its peak in 2008 just before the financial crisis, wiping out the fall from the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances reached $9.406 trillion in the second quarter of this year, an increase of $162 billion from the past quarter. That topped the previous high of $9.294 trillion posted in the third quarter of 2008.

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The Center for Microeconomic Data's Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, released Tuesday, is based on information from a nationally representative sample of individual and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax data.

"While nominal mortgage balances are now slightly above the previous peak seen in the third quarter of 2008, mortgage delinquencies and the average credit profile of mortgage borrowers have continued to improve," Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Federal Reserve, said in a statement.

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"The data suggest a more nuanced picture for other forms of household debt, with credit card delinquency rates continuing to rise," he added.

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The report said mortgage delinquencies of more than 90 days fell to 0.9 percent from 1 percent last quarter. Early delinquencies -- 30 to 60 days late -- also improved.

Credit card balances in 90-plus day delinquency increased to 5.2 percent from 5.0 percent last quarter, continuing a trend that started in 2017, according to the report.

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The report said outstanding student loan debt, a hot topic among some Democratic presidential candidates, stood at $1.48 trillion in the second quarter, down $8 billion from the first quarter. It said 10.8 percent of the aggregate student debt was 90-plus days delinquent or in default for 2019.

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