JPMorgan Chase wrote off fewer credit card balances in May, and the rate of late payments fell, adding further evidence that consumers are getting a better handle on paying their bills.
Chase's net credit losses dropped to 8.95 percent of total balances in May, from 9.03 percent in April, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Card companies write off loans that are 180 days past due, when it's assumed the balances can't be collected.
The bank said the rate customer payments are late by 30 days or more slipped to 4.2 percent in May, from 4.4 percent in April, the fourth straight month of decline.
In the past year or so, the credit card industry has written off a record amount of loans as customers struggled to pay off debt. The charge-off rate rose to 10 percent in the first three months of this year, according to the Federal Reserve, from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. That compares with a rate of 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2007, before the recession began.
JPMorgan Chase shares added 26 cents to $37.59 in midday trading.
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