Late payments on consumer loans surged in first quarter

Rising unemployment pushed late payments on consumer loans in the first three months of this year to the highest level since at least 1974, a study by the American Bankers Association shows. And that doesn't even include credit card delinquencies, which also reached a record by one measure.

It's an important indicator of the economic stress people are under. But it's also based on data that's now three months old. When big banks start reporting second quarter financial results next week, it'll give a clearer sense of just how badly rising unemployment and falling home values are hurting consumers and the companies that lend to them right now.