More Americans are late on their mortgage payments, a consequence of rising unemployment and a sign that the rate of U.S. consumer bankruptcies will keep going up, according to data from credit bureau Equifax Inc.
Early-stage delinquencies are a key indicator of future bankruptcy filings and June data indicates bankruptcies will rise in the coming months. Bankruptcy filings were up 31% in June compared with a year earlier.
Among U.S. homeowners with mortgages, 7.23% were at least 30 days late on payments in June, up from about 4.5% a year earlier and 7.01% in May, according to Equifax. The rate of subprime mortgage delinquencies jumped almost a full percentage point to 39.25%.
Credit card delinquency rates fell slightly in June from May, a decline that may largely reflect tougher standards imposed by credit card issuers, along with less credit being extended to the majority of borrowers - with the exception being those with the highest credit scores, according to Equifax.
Credit card companies, concerned about the effects of new government restrictions on lending practices, are offering fewer cards to subprime borrowers and to young people. CCR Newsline has reported extensively on the restrictions. The majority of new cards now go to "prime" borrowers with credit scores of 740 or higher, compared with about 30% three years ago.