While oil prices have recently begun to rise slightly after a year and a half of mostly decreasing prices, those who live and work in regions where the energy industry is one of the largest employers are still facing the repercussions of those low prices. A number of energy companies have had to lay off workers, resulting in several households dropping to a single or, in some cases, no income. While some were able to find employment within a few months, the drop in income, even if it was temporary, did take its toll on payments.
Cities where the energy industry had high employment numbers are now seeing a large number of consumers being delinquent on their auto loans, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York stated in its quarterly report. These areas also saw an increase in mortgage delinquencies, although those numbers have not risen quite as quickly or as high as auto loan delinquencies have.
According to Andrew Haughwout, co-author of the report, about 1.7 percent of the total number of employees were affected. For those who have lost their jobs, the stress and hardship of paying all of their monthly debts is considerable.
Nationally, the delinquency rate has dropped overall, despite the fact that mortgage debt has increased by $120 billion and student loan debt rose by $29 billion.
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