In recent months, the securitization market had come to rely on the consumer ABS asset classes to sustain production, while the subprime MBS and CDO markets retreated. Last week, however, that small group itself-comprised of credit card, auto and student loan ABS-began to look winded.

Although market sources said they did not expect to see the credit card and auto sectors generate severe problems in the near future, they did acknowledge that payment rates, which had slowed from already historic lows, were a sign of overall weakness in the financial health of the U.S. consumer.

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