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Mortgage Default Rates Tick Up

Phil Hall
Jan 16, 2018
The level of mortgage homeowners with tappable equity has reached a record peak, but tax code changes could have an impact on this market, according to a data analysis from Black Knight Inc.

Mortgage default rates ended 2017 on the upswing, according to data released by the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.
The first mortgage default rate rose from 0.66 percent in November to 0.68 percent in December; in December 2016, the rate was 0.71 percent. The second mortgage default rate rose from 1.08 percent in November to 1.22 percent in December; the rate was 0.41 percent in December 2016. The composite default rate for all consumer credit loans covered by this data analysis was 0.91 percent in December, up from the 0.89 percent level in November and in December 2016.
“The default rate on bank cards has been rising consistently since December 2015,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Defaults on auto loans are up slightly and first mortgage defaults are little changed over the last two to three years. Continued low unemployment and low inflation, rising home prices and stock market gains combined with gains in consumer confidence to support strong gains in retail sales in the last four months of 2017. However, the same expansion in consumer spending is now appearing in the bank card default data.”
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