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U.S. Household Debt Falls $13.5B In July

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. (8/21/13)--Outstanding U.S. household debt declined $13.5 billion in July from June, according to CreditForecast.com.
 
The drop, down to $10.96 trillion last month, was caused by decreases in first-mortgage balances, said CreditForcast.com, a company that provides history and forecasts for a wide range of household credit, economic and demographic variables at a detailed level of geography (Equifax and Moody's Analytics Aug. 20).
 
Despite month-to-month fluctuations, outstanding debt has remained basically unchanged during the past year, increasing 0.4% since July 2012.
 
Also, the national delinquency rate climbed to 4.64% in July from 4.55% in June because of deterioration in auto loans, bankcard, mortgage and student-loan portfolios.
 
However, despite the deterioration, mortgage portfolios continue healing, said CreditForecast.com. The percentage of mortgages that were either delinquent by at least 120 days or in foreclosure dropped to 3.6%--the lowest level since October 2008, CreditForecast.com said.
 
The primary threat to a recovery in the consumer credit markets would be a rapid increase in interest rates, the company said.