without considering the practical economic impact on working people. It is a credit to the economists and other staff at the OCC who, upon reviewing the data and analysis used by the CFPB, identifi ed the rule’s likely signifi cant eff ect on consumers. By bringing the previously undisclosed data to light, staff ensured a more informed and more transparent discussion of the rule.” CONSUMER LOAN DELINQUENCIES ‘HOLD STEADY’ IN SECOND QUARTER C losed-end loan delinquencies held steady in the second quarter as bank card delinquencies fell and home-related categories continued their return to normal levels, accord-ing to results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. Overall, delinquen-cies fell in eight of the 11 individual consumer loan categories tracked by ABA. Th e composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, remained at 1.56 per-cent of all accounts — well below the 15-year average of 2.16 percent. Th e ABA report defi nes a delinquency as a late pay-ment that is 30 days or more overdue. “We’re in the ninth year of economic expansion when you might expect the pendulum to begin swinging the other way, but delinquencies remain below historical levels as consumers continue to show great command of their fi nances,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist. “Th e outlook remains very positive, as the strong job market, growing wages and rising wealth provide the fi nancial wherewithal for consumers to keep current on their fi nancial obligations.” Delinquencies in bank cards (credit cards provided by banks) fell 7 basis points to 2.67 percent of all accounts and remain signifi cantly below their 15-year average of 3.64 percent. “Consumers continue to manage their credit cards very well,” Chessen said. “Quarter after quarter, Americans have suc-ceeded at keeping credit card balances low in relation to their disposable income.” Delinquencies in all three home-related categories decreased. Home equity loan delinquencies fell 9 basis points to 2.50 per-cent of all accounts, dipping further under their 15-year average of 2.94 percent. Home equity line of credit delinquencies fell 4 basis points to 1.07 percent of all accounts and remain below their 15-year average of 1.18 percent. Property improvement loan delinquencies fell 3 basis points to 0.95 percent of all ac-counts, well below their 15-year average of 1.33 percent. “Home equity-related delinquencies fell across the board as the housing market continued to improve, and they’re now back down to levels last seen in 2008,” said Chessen. “Increased property values and greater home equity have pro-vided a strong incentive for people to remain current on their home loan obligations.” Delinquencies in indirect auto loans (those arranged through a third party such as an auto dealer) rose only 1 basis point to 1.84 percent of all accounts, but remain well below their 15-year average of 2.19 percent. Delinquencies in direct auto loans also rose 1 basis point to 1.04 percent of all accounts, remaining well under their 15-year average of 1.56 percent. In addition, ABA tracks three open-end loan categories: Bank card delinquencies fell from 2.74 percent to 2.67 per-cent; home equity lines of credit delinquencies fell from 1.11 percent to 1.07 percent; non-card revolving loan delinquencies fell from 1.64 percent to 1.59 percent. Chessen is encouraged by current economic conditions and consumer behavior, and remains cautiously optimistic amid uncertainty that lies ahead. “A strong economy and good consumer practices point toward steady delinquency levels in the near term, but we are also mind-ful that the hurricanes may have made repayment of debts chal-lenging for consumers in the path of the storms,” Chessen said. “It will take several quarters,” he added, “to fully gauge the regional and nationwide impact the hurricanes will have on consumers’ fi nancial footing.” P CFPB CRACKS DOWN ON PAYDAY LENDERS WITH NEW RULE ayday “debt traps” would be avoided under a rule fi nal-ized by the Consumer Financial Protection that requires lenders to determine upfront whether people can aff ord to repay their loans. Th ese protections cover loans that re-quire consumers to repay all or most of the debt at once, includ-ing payday loans, auto title loans, deposit advance products and longer-term loans with balloon payments. The bureau found that many people who take out these loans end up repeatedly paying expensive charges to roll over or refinance the same debt. The rule also curtails lend-ers’ repeated attempts to debit payments from a borrower’s bank account, a practice that racks up fees and can lead to account closure. More than four out of fi ve payday loans are re-borrowed within a month, according to the CFPB, usually right when the loan is due or shortly thereafter. And nearly one-in-four initial payday loans are re-borrowed nine times or more, with the borrowers paying far more in fees than they received in credit. As with pay-day loans, the CFPB found that the vast majority of auto title loans are re-borrowed on their due date or shortly thereafter. Even when the loan is repeatedly re-borrowed, many bor-rowers wind up in default and getting chased by a debt collector or having their car or truck seized by their lender. Lenders’ re-peated attempts to debit payments can add signifi cant penalties, as overdue borrowers get hit with insuffi cient funds fees and may even have their bank account closed.