Americans are slipping up on their card payments at a rate not seen in more than twenty years. The deterioration in consumer credit quality is further evidence that we are, and have been, in a recession since late spring. According to data released last week by the American Bankers Association, the number of credit card accounts past due hit 3.93% during the second quarter, the highest level ever tabulated by the ABA since it started compiling the data in 1980. In the previous quarter and in the same quarter one year ago, overdue credit card accounts were 2.99%. Based on total dollars outstanding, second quarter credit card delinquencies were 4.13%, the same as the previous quarter but significantly higher than the 3.54% figure for 2Q/00. The ABA says the stagnant economy and increased layoffs are impacting consumer finances. The ABA also says banks will continue to review their lending standards in light of the economic slowdown. For more information visit www.aba.com.