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U.S. demand for household debt climbed in Q2, New York Fed report shows

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By Jonnelle Marte: August 3rd 2021

Aug 3 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers’ demand for new debt grew in the second quarter and credit card use rebounded, reversing the trend of declining card use seen earlier in the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released on Tuesday by the New York Federal Reserve.

Total household debt increased by $313 billion in the second quarter to $14.96 trillion, the New York Fed said in its quarterly report on household debt and credit. Mortgage debt continued to be the biggest driver of that growth, rising by $282 billion to $10.44 trillion by the end of June.

“We have seen a very robust pace of originations over the last four quarters with new extensions of credit for mortgages and auto loans combined with rebounding demand for credit card borrowing,” Joelle Scally, administrator of the Center for Microeconomic Data at the New York Fed, said in a statement.

Credit card balances ticked up in the second quarter as consumers boosted spending, increasing by $17 billion after mostly declining since the start of 2020. Despite the increase, credit card balances were still $140 billion below where they were at the end of 2019.

In another sign that consumers’ demand for credit is growing, the number of credit inquiries made within the past six months increased by 3.7% to $121 million, reversing the decline that started in the second quarter of 2020.

New extensions of credit for mortgages and auto loans reached record highs in the second quarter, the study found. Auto loan originations, which include both loans and leases, reached $202 billion.

A total of $1.22 trillion in new mortgage debt was originated in the second quarter, including mortgage refinances. Some 71% of those loans went to borrowers with high credit scores, the report found.

A total of $4.58 trillion in mortgage loans were originated over the past four quarters – the equivalent of 44% of total mortgage debt outstanding. Roughly 40% of originations were for home purchases and 60% were for refinances, New York Fed researchers said.

Still, some homeowners continued to struggle with their loans. Just under 2 million mortgages remained in forbearance programs at the end of June, down from 9.3 million earlier in the pandemic, New York Fed researchers said in a blog post published on Tuesday.

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Michigan license number:   DM-0016282 Available to the public and licensed in Michigan.

Section 13(1)  When a licensee establishes a debt management plan for a debtor, the licensee may charge and receive an initial fee of $50.00

Section 13(2)  A licensee shall attempt to obtain consent to participate in a debt management plan from at least 51%, in number or dollar amount, of the debtor’s creditors within 90 days after establishing the debt management plan. If the required consent is not actually received by the licensee, the licensee shall provide notice to the debtor of the lack of required consent and the debtor may, at its option, close the account. If the debtor decides to close the account, any unexpended funds shall be returned to the debtor or disbursed as directed by the debtor.

Sec. 14. (1) A contract between a licensee and debtor shall include all of the following:

(a) Each creditor to which payments will be made and the amount owed each creditor. A licensee may rely on records of the debtor and other information available to it to determine the amount owed to a creditor.

(b) The total amount of the licensee’s charges.

(c) The beginning and termination dates of the contract.

(d) The principal amount and approximate interest charges of the debtor’s obligations to be paid under the debt management plan.

(e) The name and address of the licensee and of the debtor.

(f) Any other provisions or disclosures that the director determines are necessary for the protection of the debtor and the proper conduct of business by a licensee.

Sec. 18. (1) In addition to the fee described in section 13(1), a licensee may charge a reasonable fee for providing debt management services under a debt management plan. The fee under this subsection shall not exceed 15% of the amount of the debt to be liquidated during the express term of the plan.

(2) A licensee may offer a debtor the option to purchase credit reports or educational materials and products, and charge a fee to the debtor if the debtor elects to purchase any of those items from the licensee.  Fees charged under this subsection are not subject to the 15% limitation on fees described in subsection (1).

(3) Except for a cancellation described in subsection (4), in the event of cancellation of or default in the performance of the contract by the debtor before its successful completion, a licensee may collect $25.00 in addition to any fees and charges of the licensee previously received by the licensee. This $25.00 fee is not subject to the 15% limitation on fees and charges under subsection (1).

(4) A contract is in effect when it is signed by the licensee and the debtor and the debtor has made a payment of any amount to the licensee. The debtor has the right to cancel the contract until 12 midnight of the third business day after the first day the contract is in effect by delivering written notice of cancellation to the licensee. A cancellation described in this section is not subject to, and a licensee shall not collect, the fee described in subsection (3).

(5) If a debtor fails to make a payment of any amount to a licensee within 60 days after the date a payment is due under a contract, the licensee may, in its discretion, cancel the debt management contract if it determines that the plan is no longer suitable for the debtor, the debtor fails to affirmatively communicate to the licensee the debtor’s desire to continue the plan, or the creditors of the debtor refuse to continue accepting payments under the plan.

(6) A licensee shall not contract for, receive, or charge a debtor an amount greater than authorized by this act. A person that violates this subsection, except as the result of an inadvertent clerical or computer error, shall return to the debtor the amount of the payments received from or on behalf of the debtor and not distributed to creditors, and, as a penalty, an amount equal to the amount overcharged.

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