Delinquency rates on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) edged up in the first quarter compared to the quarter prior, according to a new report by the American Bankers Association (ABA) on Tuesday.

The ABA consumer delinquency report shows the percentage of HELOCs 30 days or more past due rose nine basis points from the fourth quarter to 1.78% in the first quarter.

HELOCs were the only category of consumer loans that did show an improvement in the first quarter.

ABA chief economist James Chessen attributed the increase to the painful adjustment still underway in the housing sector. “It will be many quarters before delinquencies on home equity loans get back to anything close to normal,” he said.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) data show that banks charged off $2.9 billion in HELOCs in the first quarter, down from $3.5 billion in the same quarter of 2011.

However, 2.4% of the outstanding HELOCs were noncurrent in the first quarter, up from 1.6% a year ago.

Banks and thrifts held $590.3 billion in HELOCs as of March 31.

Meanwhile, 4% of closed-end second liens were 30 days or more delinquent in the first quarter, down 8 bps from the fourth quarter.

FDIC-insured institutions held $115 billion in second liens at the end of the first quarter, after charging off $1.3 billion of the loans.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.