Home finance balances written off during the first quarter of 2013 hit a five-year low, totaling $43.3 billion, down nearly 23 percent from a year earlier, according to the March National Consumer Credit Trends Report released April 16 by credit reporting agency Equifax.
The report found that the year-over-year change in home finance write-offs nationwide from March 2012 to March 2013 included a drop in revolving home equity credit lines, which were down 44.1 percent. Additionally, home equity installment was down 32.9 percent and first mortgages saw a 17.6 percent drop.
“Overall home finance balances decreased to $8.38 trillion in March 2013 from $8.64 trillion the same time a year ago,” Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist for Equifax, said in a news release accompanying the report.
The report revealed that the total balance of severely delinquent mortgages in March was $350 billion, a 51 percent drop from its peak in March 2010 when it reached $714 billion. Of severely delinquent balances, the report showed that 73 percent are tied to credit lines opened from 2005 through 2007.
The report also showed that transition rates for balances moving from current to delinquent reached five-year lows in March.
Balances in foreclosure totaled $445 billion in March, a decline of more than 25 percent from a year ago when foreclosure balances totaled $595 billion.
New credit originated in January 2013 totaled $6.2 billion, a 20 percent increase from a year earlier when new credit totaled $5.1 billion — the strongest start to a calendar year since 2009, Equifax reported.