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Consumer Debt

November 28, 2011
U.S. consumer debt fell during July through September, pushed down by declines in mortgage balances, the New York Federal Reserve said on Monday. The report showed households continuing to shed debt and dig out from losses following the collapse of housing markets and the 2007-2009 recession. Total consumer credit was 0.6 percent below its second quarter level, the New York Fed said in its quarterly Household Debt and Credit report. "The decline in outstanding consumer credit reveals that households continue to try and deleverage in the wake of a challenging economic environment and large declines in home values," said Andrew Haughwout, an economist in the New York Fed's research and statistics group.
December 30, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Wells Fargo & Co. said Monday it has agreed to pay $591 million to Fannie Mae to settle disputes over soured mortgages the bank sold to the seized housing finance giant during the subprime housing boom. The agreement covers loans originated by Wells Fargo before 2009 that Fannie Mae was trying to force the bank to buy back. The deal "resolves substantially" all repurchase issues related to those loans, the company said. Wells Fargo will pay $541 million in cash to Fannie Mae, with the rest covered by credits from earlier repurchases.
September 10, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Are Americans falling out of love with their credit cards again? Consumer borrowing unexpectedly fell $3.3 billion in July, driven entirely by a drop in revolving credit, the category that includes purchases made with plastic, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Monday. The decline was a big surprise - estimates in a Bloomberg survey of 37 economists had been for gains of $5 billion to $15 billion. It follows some conflicting reports on consumer confidence, underscoring the slow pace of the economic recovery.
December 29, 2013 | David Lazarus
Teresa Martin was laid off in October from her job as office manager for a packaging company. The Corona resident is now struggling to pay her bills. Martin, 57, isn't carrying any credit card balances at the moment, but she said she may have to start running up debt on plastic in the coming days if she wants to keep a roof over her head. "It's scary," she told me. "But I'm not sure what else I can do. " As we stagger into a new year, consumer debt is climbing at the fastest pace in more than five years.
September 8, 1989 | From Associated Press
Americans paid off $280 million more in credit than they borrowed during July, the first reduction in consumer debt in 2 1/2 years, the government reported today.
September 10, 2002 | Reuters
U.S. consumer debt outstanding surged in July as shoppers whipped out their credit cards and took advantage of new-car incentives, according to a Federal Reserve report. The Fed said consumer credit rose by a seasonally adjusted $10.8 billion in the month, the largest monthly gain since November. Revolving credit, which includes credit and charge cards, rose by $6.5 billion, while nonrevolving credit, which includes auto and other closed-end loans, was up $4.
October 8, 1986 | Associated Press
Americans took out $3.74 billion more in consumer credit than they paid off in August, the smallest increase since March, the government said Tuesday. The Federal Reserve Board said the August increase, which followed a $5.56-billion July advance, represented an annual growth rate of 7.8%. That was down considerably from the 12.2% growth in credit during the first half of the year.
July 3, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The portion of consumers with payments overdue on credit cards, auto loans and other debt dropped in the first three months of the year to the lowest level since 2007, according to the American Bankers Assn. Overall, the percentage of consumer loans that were at least 30 days overdue dropped to 2.35% in the January-through-March period, down from 2.49% in the last quarter of 2012. It was the best performance since the second quarter of 2007, and put consumer delinquencies below the 15-year average of 2.4%, the group said.
January 10, 1987 | Associated Press
Americans took out $4.02 billion more in consumer debt than they paid off in November, the lowest monthly increase since August, the government reported Friday. The Federal Reserve Board said the November gain translated into an annual rate of consumer debt growth of 8.2%, a considerable slowdown from the 14.8% rate of increase in October.
September 20, 2013 | By Eric J. Weiner
Five years ago, this week, the world of finance and economics changed forever. At least that's the story. It started with a sad milestone in Wall Street history: the fall of the House of Lehman. Between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, 2008, Lehman Bros., the legendary 158-year-old Wall Street firm, wobbled, stumbled and finally ceased to exist. In the conventional narrative, the failure of Lehman and the equally storied trading outfit Bear Stearns was part of an epic, once-in-a-generation meltdown in which global financial markets collapsed simultaneously in ways that nobody could have possibly foreseen.
June 18, 2013 | By Don Lee, Andrew Tangel and E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
For all the mixed messages from the Fed and the uncertainty that has roiled financial markets recently, one thing looks very clear: The era of declining interest rates is over. After three decades in which borrowing costs for Americans have pretty much declined steadily to rock-bottom levels - easing consumer debt burdens for cars, homes and college education - the long-term path of interest rates is now at a turning point, according to many economists and investors. Regardless of the Federal Reserve's statement and its economic outlook to be issued Wednesday and the market's reaction to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's comments at his quarterly news conference, the reality is that the flood of easy money is ebbing and the economy is shifting to a new period of rising rates.
June 7, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Builders are eyeing the next wave of potential home buyers - the so-called millennials - but whether this rising generation will embrace big mortgage debt remains an open question. These 95 million people ages 10 to 32 outnumber their baby-boomer parents by 10 million. The young adults among them, sobered by the recession, have relatively modest material expectations; many say they'd be happy with smaller living spaces. The housing industry will have to convince the next generation that home loans are as necessary and prudent as the student debt so many of them already carry.
April 19, 2013 | By Ben Ehrenreich
"It's a difficult business," writes David Graeber, "creating a new, alternative civilization. " Just open a window or turn on the TV - the same old civilization is rotting all around us. Budget cuts, police shootings, endless and ever-broadening wars, the climate in full-scale, almost-end-times spasm, a Congress of hand puppets yelping on about the manufactured crisis of the moment, a president whose answer to every crisis is More of the Same....
February 12, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
The student-loan market is not in a bubble and going into debt to pay for college is still worth it, according to a new report. But those are the rare bits of good news in the otherwise dispiriting report on students' escalating college debt. While concluding that diplomas are worth the money, the study by Wells Fargo economists found that the payoff may not come for years because graduates are squeezed by several factors. Tuition costs are rising faster than incomes. Graduates are having trouble finding solid jobs.
January 29, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
Canada's elevated housing prices and the extra debt taken on by consumers as a result could be problems for its banks should the economy hit bumps in the road, Moody's Investors Service said in downgrading its credit ratings for six major financial firms. Canada's banks are still highly rated, Moody's said Monday , tied for second place among the world's financial institutions, behind Singapore. The affected banks -- Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Caisse centrale Desjardins, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank -- continue to have excellent credit ratings.
November 27, 2012 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - In a grim new forecast, a leading international economic group sharply cut its outlook for U.S. and global growth next year and warned that the debt crisis in Europe and fiscal policy risks in America could plunge the world back into recession. As it stands now, the industrialized world is looking at a muted and uneven recovery over the next two years, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based OECD projected gross domestic product across its 34 member nations - which include the U.S., Japan and the 17-nation Eurozone - to grow a sluggish 1.4% next year.
October 23, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The nation's largest debt-collection companies will face federal regulatory exams for the first time, starting in January, to determine if they are complying with consumer protection laws. Among the laws that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would enforce would be ones that require employees to identify themselves properly and that prohibit the use of "obscene or profane language" in collecting overdue bills. The new oversight comes as the bureau, which was created by the 2010 financial reform law, continues to expand its authority beyond banks.
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