Delinquency rates on home loans made by federally chartered banks rose to a seasonally adjusted 1.91 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, a level not seen since 2003, but still well below delinquency rates of the 1990s.

The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that the percentage of loans on which payments are at least 30 days late continued what has been a gradual rise since hitting a recent historic low of 1.38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Since then, the delinquency rate has climbed slightly every quarter, with the exception of the fourth quarter of 2006, when it fell to a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent, down from 1.62 percent the previous quarter.

The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate on residential loans exceeded 2 percent for most of the 1990s, peaking at 3.36 percent in the last half of 1991. It was last above 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

The Federal Reserve reported that the seasonally adjusted charge-off rate on residential loans during the fourth quarter of 2006 doubled from a year ago, to .12 percent.

The charge-off rate — the percentage of loans banks write off as bad — has fluctuated more than the delinquency rate in recent years. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the charge-off rate has been as low as .06 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from recent peaks of .33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003 and .44 percent in the third quarter of 2001.

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