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TransUnion: Late auto-loan payments rose in 4Q

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:46 pm

LOS ANGELES – More Americans fell behind on their auto loan payments in the last three months of 2012, a time of the year when some borrowers’ financial obligations temporarily take a backseat to spending on holiday shopping.

Beyond the seasonal increase, the late-payment rate on auto loans declined on an annual basis and remained near the lowest point in more than a decade, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday.

The trend comes amid a strong market for cars and trucks. Many Americans are moving to replace older vehicles after holding back on purchases for several years following the last recession.

U.S. auto sales grew 13.4 percent last year to 14.5 million and are projected to climb up to 15.5 million this year.