2012-04-12nytimes.com

Annette Alejandro just emerged from bankruptcy and doesn't have a job, and her car was repossessed last year. Still, after spending her days job hunting, she returns to her apartment in Brooklyn where, in disbelief, she sorts through the piles of credit card and auto loan offers that have come in the mail.

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The lenders argue that they have learned their lesson and are distinguishing between chronic deadbeats and what some in the industry call "fallen angels," those who had good payment histories before falling behind as the economy foundered.

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Regulators with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees the nation's largest banks, said ... an increase in lending is a sign that the economy is improving, economists say. While unemployment remains high, consumers have been reducing their debts. Delinquencies on credit card accounts and auto loans are down sharply from their heights in the crisis.


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