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Study Shows Consumer Credit Delinquencies Slightly Down

June 22, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A study by BenchMark Consulting International found that 2003 saw a slight decrease in the overall average consumer loan dollar delinquency rate, a rise in the overall charge-off rate and a decline in the recovery rate, over the previous year.

Benchmark is a management consulting firm to the financial services industry. The 2004 Consumer Credit Collections Study, coordinated with the Consumer Bankers Association, is a detailed analysis of collection and recovery activities and trends in the consumer lending industry.

This year, the average consumer loan account size is 29 percent larger than last year's average size and the highest size in the past five study periods. On the other hand, overall average dollar delinquency rate is the lowest it has been in the past five study periods, reflecting the increasing influence of home equity outstandings on the study's composite consumer loan portfolio. The 1.31 percent dollar delinquency rate is below the 12-year average delinquency rate of 1.44 percent.

Although product delinquency rates decreased across the board from last year's results, auto loan delinquency rates were 12 percent higher. In fact, indirect and direct auto loans contributed more than 55 percent to charged-off dollars. And dollar charge-off rates, defined as dollars charged off divided by dollars delinquent, increased to 6.2 percent from a four-year low of 4.7 percent.

The study measured collections and recovery activities of 43 North American financial service organizations from January 2003 to December 2003. Respondents included commercial banks, auto finance companies, savings and loans and consumer finance companies.

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