The credit card receivables that back securitizations stand to benefit from the continued drop in personal bankruptcy filings, according to a release from Fitch Ratings.
The number of bankruptcy filings in the U.S. fell 13.2% year-over-year in 1Q13, following declines in both 2012 and 2011.
At this pace filings will come in well under Fitch’s forecasts for the full year of 2013, which call for a 6%-7% decline.
The agency ascribed the downturn in bankruptcies to better consumer credit quality stemming from fewer initial jobless claims as well as a gradual retreat in the jobless rate. Although it recognized that the most recent unemployment figures were not encouraging as hiring slowed more than expected in March and the drop in the unemployment rate proved to be more a function of people leaving the workforce than getting jobs.
The number of filings should keep dwindling provided “consumer behavior remain disciplined” Fitch said.
There were other conditions as well.
“This will also depend on the sustainability of banks to remain careful in their underwriting standards,” the agency said. “However, we believe that loosening of these standards has already begun, so the pace of improvement should being to level off later this year.”
Credit card usage has been relatively stable, staying near the level of $850 million. Other kinds of consumer credit, such as auto loans and student loans, have been climbing.