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Delinquent auto loans, those more than 60 days past due, are on the rise. According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, they ballooned 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 when compared with the same period a year earlier. While glancing at the Detroit News headline would lead most to think delinquencies are now in double-digits nationwide, the actual default rate has risen to just .86 percent (up from .79 percent) – yeah, less than 1 percent (as optimists at Autoblog, we like to applaud the more than 99 percent of customers who are able to pay on time).
The states with the highest delinquencies are Mississippi (1.62 percent), California (1.46 percent), and Louisiana (1.37 percent). On the other end, those with low delinquencies – and most likely to be paying on time – are found in Alaska (.19 percent), North Dakota (.34 percent), and Wyoming (.41 percent). If there is good news to be found in the report from TransUnion, it is that the average outstanding auto debt fell from the prior year – a direct reflection of owners holding their cars longer and credit tightening on new purchases.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      my buddy had to give his car to the repo since his work got cut in half and he still needs to pay rent and eat... and i really hate all this politically correct idiots that say pay your bill... When you make twice the minimum wage and have 4k in the bank that gets depleted fast even if you are careful.
        • 6 Years Ago
        eatpusy: Having $4k in the bank puts RemusRM's friend WAY ahead of the average American who's making $10/hr or so. Lots of people have no savings, because it hasn't been a priority in the Decade of Consumption just ending. You know, when the wartime president told Americans to go shopping instead of buying war bonds or something. Americans' savings rate has been abysmal for years, and now it's going up because everyone is scared, but that tanks the retail sales numbers which gets lots of airplay on TV and gets people more scared... it feeds on itself.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I admit being one of those people, one of my account-to-account transfers wasn't made as usual and now I've got a semi-late payment (they'll try getting the funds again in a week).

      I should watch my stuff more.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I predict that just like with houses, all these car/truck repos will begin to flood the used car market and lead to a decline in used car values. I think now is the time to trade-in and buy something new if you can afford it and your job is relatively stable. The rebates are good, dealers need used cars since they're getting few in on trade for new cars and interest rates are low.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man, talk about a sensationalist title by the Detroit News.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess you could say the repo business is recession-proof! In fact, business is probably way better during hard times.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Violent attacks against the repo man are up too.

        ...or maybe its just Oakland.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No surprises to me here -- when I think "winner" states the first two states I think of are California and Louisiana... *sarcasm detector explodes*

      It still amazes me that people just choose to ignore their problem of not paying their bills as if they will just magically give up and go away. Times are indeed tough - but if you cant make the payments you gotta man up and call the bank, work with them to see if you can reach SOME sort of agreement.

      If not - time to trade in that 08 Escalade or Benz for a fiesta or something actually in your price range. Will that be fun? Of course not - but you will be able to make the payments and cease adding bad debt problems to this countries already strained financial system.
        • 6 Years Ago
        sounds good BUT these people with thier Escalades and Benz are SO upsided down. who will ever give then a $25,000 loan on a car that is worth $15,000
        • 6 Years Ago

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