U.S. Markets closed

Auto Repossessions Hit Lowest Level in 7 Years

Christine DiGangi

Vehicle repossessions are at their lowest rate since Experian Automotive started keeping track seven years ago. In a news release, the credit bureau reported a 14.8% decline in auto repossessions from the first quarter of 2013.

In the second quarter of 2013, 0.36% of all vehicle loans ended in repossession, according to Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market report. That’s 10.4% fewer than the previous low in the second quarter of 2006, in which 0.41% of loans ended in a repossession.

Thirty-day delinquencies, up in comparison to the first quarter of 2013, decreased 5.6% from the second quarter of 2012 to reach a seven-year low of 2.38%. Sixty-day delinquencies accounted for 0.58%.

Melinda Zabritski, senior director of Automotive Credit for Experian, said in a news release that second-quarter repossession and delinquency rates were lower than expected.

“The seasonality of the market usually has the first quarter showing the lowest 30-day delinquency rates,” Zabritski said, “but even with the total automotive loan portfolio growing, consumers in the second quarter have done an exceptional job of meeting their financial obligations to keep the market strong.”

The report also showed a year-over-year increase in the total balance of outstanding auto loans: up from $682 billion in the second quarter of 2012 to nearly $751 billion in the same quarter of 2013. Delinquencies account for 1.96% of that balance, down from 2.05% at the same time last year.

The amount of auto loans and leases is up across the nation, especially since auto lending has been relatively open to borrowers following the recession.

More from Credit.com