A new report shows recent high interest rates may have hurt many Wisconsin consumers who are paying off mortgages. Nearly half of the bank CEO's surveyed by the Wisconsin Banker's Association saw an increase in past-due payments on mortgages, bankruptcies, and home foreclosures during the last six months of 2006. WBA President Kurt Bauer says climbing interest rates may be largely to blame for that trend.

However, Bauer says the outlook is better for this year. Most members responding to the survey predict short term rates will drop in the first half of 2007.

Home owners paying off Adjustable Rate Mortgages were the most impacted by climbing rates. Bauer says the last year was tough for many of those individuals, but it also comes after several very good years where rates were very low. He says despite a slight bump in 2006, rates were still well below what they were a decade ago.

Most of the bankers surveyed by the WBA also predict the demand for home loans will remain strong in 2007.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 :59)

Share the News