Fresh data from BlueTarp indicate that building material dealers' customers had even more trouble paying on time in 2015 than they did in the previous three years. Portland, Maine-based BlueTarp handles credit and collections for roughly 2,000 building material dealers nationwide who have a total of about 100,000 accounts.  

The chart above shows the percentage difference in the percentage of delinquent accounts that were at least one day late in June 2012 with the percentage of accounts that were late in any other month. For instance, if the delinquency rate was 15% in June 2012 and 20% in July 2012, then the change would be 33% (20 minus 15 equals 5, and then 5 divided by 15 equals 0.33, or 33%). 

BlueTarp CEO Scott Simpson, who presented the results to dealers during the Northwestern Lumber Association Expo on Jan. 11, said that along with a general increase in delinquency rates, there's been a 25% increase in the number of delinquent payers who fall into the worst three of BlueTarp's six risk categories. "They are the people who are purposely not paying you or who, more often than not, are in a chronic cash situation," Simpson said. "They're on the ledge but haven't fallen off yet."