U.S. consumers defaulted on store-branded credit cards at near-record levels during the holiday shopping season, with 2010 likely to bring more of the same trend, according to Fitch Ratings. In December, Fitch’s Retail Credit Card Chargeoff Index snapped a two-month decline, rising 122 basis points (bps) to 12.56% from the previous month. Throughout 2009, chargeoffs surpassed the previous record (12.25% in January 2005) five times, establishing a new all-time high of 12.81% in August.
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