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Survey: Mortgage Payments Top Priority for U.S. Households

According to a survey of bill-payment patterns of U.S. households, mortgage payments are still the No. 1 priority bill for consumers, even as the mortgage delinquency rate has gone up 67 percent over past year.

The survey was conducted by Online Resources, a financial services company based in Chantilly.

Insurance bills were also high on the priority list, with the lowest delinquency rate -- 2 percent -- of all major bills. Payments on loans including those for cars and college, while third on the list, are increasingly late. Over the past year, households with overdue loan payments have increased 58 percent. And late utility payments are up 18 percent over last year.

Thirty-four percent of respondents with emergency medical bills said they were late on payment. And one out of three respondents with overdue credit card bills continue to make purchases on those cards, increasing their balances.

--Kim Hart

By Kim Hart  |  December 17, 2008; 11:17 AM ET
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