Revolving consumer debt, mostly comprising credit card loans, fell $110 billion, or 12.7%, from an all-time peak in September 2008, to $866 billion in December 2009, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Federal Reserve.

So how much of the industry's stunning contraction is attributable to the pullback by lenders and belt-tightening among consumers? How much does the unprecedented pace at which uncollectible balances have been evaporating explain the decline?

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