JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank by assets, reported that mortgage loan volumes were $59.9 billion during the first quarter, up a significant 33 percent from the prior year and 14 percent from the prior quarter, primarily reflecting refinancing activity.
Consumers were more likely to pay their auto loans before their credit cards and mortgages in 2011, according to an update to a study by the credit bureau TransUnion.
Discover Financial Services said its first-quarter profit surged 36 percent, bolstered by a 7 percent jump in Discover card transactions and record low delinquencies and charge-offs.
U.S. consumers continued to reduce balances tied to mortgages and home equity lines of credit in the fourth quarter of 2011, while other forms of debt, including credit cards and student loans, edged upward.
A mortgage servicing subsidiary of Bank of America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally assessed more than $36 million in fees against homeowners already having trouble paying their mortgages.
Credit standards on commercial and industrial loans “changed little” in the final months of 2011, just as U.S. banks saw stronger demand for these types of loans, according to the latest quarterly survey of loan officers by the Federal Reserve.
Payday loans provide consumers quick cash, but they also are notorious for terms that can equal an annual percentage rate of more than 400 percent. Often, these small-amount loans must be repaid before the costumer’s next paycheck arrives.
American Express profit rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter, with more customers spending on their cards and much fewer opting to stop paying on their balances. AmEx also took in higher travel commissions and fees, although rewards spending – normally a big expense – went up 10 percent.
A national measure of consumer credit defaults – when borrowers stop paying back loans – recorded increases in most loan types for December, and a fourth straight month in first mortgage defaults. Bank card default rates were the only loan category to decline, from 4.91 percent in November to 4.60 percent in December, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.
Citigroup’s loan business improved in the fourth quarter as consumers did a better job of paying down their credit card balances, but the nation’s third largest bank by assets was hurt by investments and missed Wall Street forecasts.