WASHINGTON — U.S. households continued to slash their level of debt in the second quarter, with the bulk of the retrenchment due to homeowners paying down their mortgages and cutting back on their use of home equity lines of credit, the New York Federal Reserve Bank reported Wednesday.

According to its Household Debt and Credit Report, household indebtedness declined to $11.38 trillion, a $53 billion decline from the first quarter of 2012. The New York Fed said outstanding household debt has decreased $1.3 trillion since its peak in Q3 2008.

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