For several years — before, during and after the Great Recession — huge waves of home foreclosures rolled across the country like a storm at sea.
Some areas of the country were hit harder than others. As we discussed most recently in our June 27 post, the San Antonio / New Braunfels area was certainly greatly affected.
In this post, let’s look at what’s happening now with mortgage debt as the real estate market slowly recovers but a still-slow economy struggles to produce enough jobs.
When taking that look our frame of reference remains the same. Consumer bankruptcy came be a sensible debt relief strategy for people who have fallen deeply behind on their mortgage payments. In particular, the automatic stay against debt collection that comes with a bankruptcy filing can help prevent foreclosure.
So how are things generally looking for consumers as we head into the year’s fourth quarter? This week TransUnion, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus, released the results of a study of late-payment rates for consumers in the period between 2009 and 2012.
The study was based on consumers with three types of debt payments: mortgages, credit card debt and auto loans. It included payment data on a monthly basis for about 20 million consumers.
Overall, during the period studied, consumers were more likely to make timely payments on auto loans than on credit cards or home mortgages. Recently, however, the late-payment rate for mortgage payments has been going down.
This suggests that making mortgage payments in a timely manner has become more of a priority for homeowners than it was a few years ago. Analysts speculated that this could be because rising home values provide more motivation for people to keep current on their mortgages than falling values do.
Source: San Antonio Express, “Consumers making mortgage payments priority again,” Alex Veiga, September 19, 2013