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Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows steady drop in household debt
Aug 18, 2010

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released a new Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit and an accompanying Web page. The report shows that households steadily reduced aggregate consumer indebtedness over the past seven quarters. In the second quarter of 2010, they owed 6.4 percent less than they did in 2008, the peak year for indebtedness. Additionally, for the first time since early 2006, the share of total household debt in some stage of delinquency declined, from 11.9 percent to 11.2 percent. However, the number of people with a new bankruptcy noted on their credit reports rose 34 percent during the second quarter, considerably higher than the 20 percent increase typical of the second quarter in recent years. In addition, the data for selected states reveal substantial regional variations in debt and credit patterns: ►Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada all show markedly higher delinquency and foreclosure rates than average; ►Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate, with 0.7 percent of consumers receiving a new foreclosure notation on their credit report during the second quarter of 2010 and Arizona is the next-highest, with 0.6 percent of consumers with new foreclosure notations; ►Total consumer indebtedness is highest in California and Nevada, where average per capita debt balances are $78,000 and $73,000, respectively, compared with $49,000 nationally; and ►Households in states with the highest debt burdens have seen the strongest declines in their balances. "Major declines in house prices and the continuing high level of unemployment are reflected in the various measures of household debt and credit. However, the national measures obscure substantive differences at the state level and the additional data released today show clear differences of distress among the select states for which we show data," said Wilbert van der Klaauw, vice president in the research and Statistics Group at the New York Fed. “By providing greater access to these data, we hope stakeholders will be better equipped to assist distressed households in their communities.” For more information, visit
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