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Fewer mortgages in foreclosure or delinquent: MBA

Fewer mortgages in foreclosure or delinquent: MBA (by Amy Hoak)

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Fewer mortgages were in foreclosure or delinquent in the first quarter, according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on Thursday. According to the group's National Delinquency Survey, 12.31% of mortgages on one- to four-unit residential properties were in foreclosure or had at least one payment past due, down from 13.6% in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of mortgages somewhere in the foreclosure process was 4.52% in the first quarter, down from 4.64% in the fourth quarter. Foreclosures were started on 1.08% of mortgages, down from 1.27% in the fourth quarter. The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate increased in the first quarter, rising to 8.32% from 8.25% in the fourth quarter. The nonadjusted delinquency rate, however, dropped to 7.79% from 8.96% in the fourth quarter. "Most of these numbers continue to point to a mortgage market on the mend," said Jay Brinkmann, MBA's chief economist, in a news release.