Number of People with Collection Accounts on Credit Falls, Balances Up

J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Posted on Nov 16, 2013

According to an article by, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's data indicates that a smaller percentage of consumers has accounts with "3rd party" debt collectors, although the average balance that is with the debt collectors is now higher.

In the FRBNY's Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, the percentage of U.S. consumers with at least one account in collections fell to 13.8 percent last quarter. In the previous quarter, it was14.6 percent. It was the largest quarter-over-quarter decline since the group started tracking the metric in 1999.

While the percentage of consumers with accounts in the third party debt collection system fell in the third quarter, the average account balance in collection increased to $1,458 from $1,409 in the previous quarter.

Other interesting metrics in the report include:

  • Student loan balances appearing on credit reports increased $33 billion to $1.03 trillion.
  • Auto loan balances increased for the 10 straight quarter, up $31 billion to $845 billion.
  • Credit card balances increased $4 billion to $672 billion.
  • Total mortgage debt increased to $7.9 trillion, up $56 billion.
  • HELOC balances fell $5 billion to $535 billion.
  • Mortgage originations dropped slightly to $549 billion.
  • 168,000 individuals had new foreclosure notations added to their credit reports, 70 percent below the peak of 566,000 in Q2 2009.

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