Mortgage defaults steadily dropping in U.S.: S&P

The number of Americans defaulting on their mortgages has steadily been declining, according to February data out this week for the Standard & Poor’s/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.

First mortgages in default were down 14% in February compared to a month earlier, and down 42% compared to a year earlier. Second mortgages in default were down 3% compared to January and 52% compared to a year earlier.

Similar declines were seen in bank card and auto loan defaults.

“Default rates continue to fall across all major categories and year-over-year across the five highlighted cities,” said Craig Feldman, director at S&P Indices. “The overall trend lasted a number of months now, reflecting improved consumer health and the appearance of a continued economic recovery.”

But another study out recently by Core Logic showed 23% of U.S. homes were in negative equity at the end of 2010.

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