The New York Federal Reserve just issued its latest quarterly Household Debt & Credit report — which looks at the state of mortgages, home equity borrowing, auto loans and credit cars — and, for the first time in a few years, there are a number of not-so-bad things to say about things.
The Fed reports an increase in credit limits of about 1% ($30 billion), making it the first such increase since the third quarter of 2008. Additionally, mortgage originations increased for the third quarter in a row. Household delinquency rates continued to improve for the fifth consecutive quarter and are down 15% from where they were one year ago.
While there were still 368,000 new foreclosures in the first quarter of 2011, that is still a drop of 17.7% from just the previous quarter. Similarly, new bankruptcies dipped by 13.3% from quarter to quarter, though they still totaled 434,000.
“We are beginning to see signs of credit markets healing gradually and evidence of greater willingness of consumers to borrow and banks to lend,” said Andrew Haughwout, vice president and New York Fed research economist.