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Mortgage debt down in the U.S. in 2011's third quarter

One of the types of debt that consumers sometimes hold is mortgage debt. Recently, an article on Bloomberg's website reported on some mortgage-related statistics. The statistics came from multiple sources and they regard mortgage debt and underwater mortgages in the U.S. in 2011's third quarter.

The statistics regarding mortgage debt came from the Federal Reserve. These statistics indicate that total home mortgage debt fell in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2011. Reportedly, in 2011's third quarter, total home mortgage debt in the U.S. was at $9.88 trillion. This is down from the second quarter total (which was $9.94 trillion) and reportedly is the lowest home mortgage debt total the nation has seen since 2006.

The statistics regarding underwater mortgages came from Zillow Inc. These statistics indicate that the underwater mortgage rate in the U.S. was up in the third quarter of 2011 as compared to the third quarter of 2010. According to Zillow Inc., 29 percent of mortgaged homeowners in the U.S. were underwater in 2011's third quarter. This rate reportedly is 6 percentage points greater than the underwater mortgage rate from 2010's third quarter.

Thus, the statistics that the above-mentioned Bloomberg article reported on indicate that, in 2011's third quarter, the U.S. saw a drop in total home mortgage debt and a year-over-year rise in the underwater mortgage rate. One wonders if these two trends will continue in future quarters. One also wonders what impacts these two trends and their causes have had on consumers in Florida and the rest of the county.

Source: Bloomberg, "U.S. Mortgage Debt Falls to Five-Year Low as Consumer Wealth Effect Fades," John Gittelsohn and Kathleen M. Howley, Dec. 8, 2011

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