The average balance on third-party collection accounts fell in the second quarter ended June 30 to $1,409 per account, down from $1,433 in the first quarter, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank's Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit.

The total remains behind the record high of $1,550 reached in the second quarter of 2012.

The New York Fed reported that 14.60% of Americans had a third-party collection action on their credit reports in the second quarter, hovering near highest rate on record of 14.64% reached in the previous quarter.

The report notes that only a small proportion of collections are related to credit accounts with the majority of collection actions associated with medical bills and utility bills. It further states that accounts reported by third-party collectors often have little bearing on overall consumer credit trends.  

Total household indebtedness in the second quarter fell to $11.15 trillion, 0.7% lower than the first quarter and 12% below the high mark of $12.68 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2008. The percent of 90-plus day delinquent balances for all household debt declined to 5.7% in the second quarter from 6.1% in the first quarter. The delinquency rate for each separate component of household debt also declined from the first quarter: mortgages (4.9% from 5.4%), HELOC (3% from 3.2%), credit card debt (10% from 10.2%) and student loan debt (10.9% from 11.2%).

The report also revealed that in the second quarter credit card balances jumped $8 billion to $668 billion; total mortgage debt fell to $7.84 trillion from $7.93 trillion; and outstanding student loan debt was up $8 billion to $994 billion. Mortgage originations rose to $589 billion, the seventh straight quarterly increase.

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