The percentage of prime borrowers seriously delinquent on their mortgage rose 20.3 percent during the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. It was up 163.7 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.
In comparison, the percentage of subprime borrowers seriously delinquent rose only 1.5 percent during the first quarter. It was up 54.9 percent from the same period a year ago.
Prime borrowers are seeing and increase in credit card payments, as credit card issuers demand a 5 percent repayment. A $200 monthly payment can jump to $500.
For homeowners with more than one credit card, the increase in monthly payments can be a disaster.
The figures represent mortgage payments and credit card payments in a duel for too little money in the family budget. The situation can become a downward spiral.
As industry cuts back, it is safer to fire or layoff employees with financial difficulties. Employers are protected or insulated from lawsuits if they claim the employee was “not focused” or a “financial risk.”
At the worst time in recent history the credit card industry is asking for higher monthly payments. It might be a long cold winter in America.