THE BAD NEWS AND THE WORSE NEWS

14 04 2008

Like a ship that keeps springing new leaks, new numbers keep appearing that show an economy in distress.

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Here’s another sign that the ship is listing: The American Bankers Association recently reported that in the fourth quarter of 2007, consumer credit delinquencies reached their highest level since 1992.

In other words, more people were 30 days or more overdue on their home equity loans, auto loans, personal loans and several other types of installment loans. (Bank cards were not included in the mix because their balances can fluctuate.)

The association doesn’t see that number declining soon, as food and gas prices continue to rise.

Not surprisingly, the association suggests that if you are in that 30-or-more-days category, or in danger of falling into it, you should talk to the lender about your payment options.

That way, you — and maybe the economy — won’t slip completely underwater.

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