Bankers and industry analysts may dispute whether or not this is a worrisome trend, but the numbers paint a clear picture — more consumers are falling behind or defaulting on their auto loans.

Total delinquencies, those at least 30 days past due, increased 17% in the fourth quarter from three months earlier, to $9.9 billion, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data compiled by While it is common for auto delinquencies to rise in the fourth quarter of any year, the spike in last year’s fourth quarter from three months earlier was higher than in past years.

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