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Mortgage delinquencies down during Q1 2011

The number of late mortgage payments was down during the first quarter of 2011.

The number of late mortgage payments was down during the first quarter of 2011.

According to the most recent data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, delinquencies for mortgages declined during the year's first quarter.

Seasonally adjusted, the rate of outstanding loans, past due by more than 90 days, settled at 8.32 percent, which was down seven basis points from the last quarter of 2010, as well as 174 basis points year-over-year. Unadjusted, the rate sat at 7.79 percent, down 117 basis points from the previous quarter's 8.96 percent rate.

Regarding foreclosure, 1.08 percent of the quarter's total delinquent loans began actions for repossession, which was down 19 basis points from Q4 2010 and 15 points year-over-year. The rate of past-due loans already in the foreclosure process was down during the quarter, falling to 4.52 percent, 12 basis points below the last quarter of 2010 and 11 points from Q1 2010.

"Most of these numbers continue to point to a mortgage market on the mend," said Jay Brinkmann, the chief economist at MBA. "Short-term delinquencies remain at pre-recession levels. Loans 90 days or more delinquent have now dropped for five straight quarters and are at their lowest level since the beginning of 2009. Foreclosure starts are at the lowest level since the end of 2008 and had the second largest drop ever."

Combined, the percentage of loans in foreclosure and those at least one payment past due totaled 12.31 percent, down from 13.60 percent last quarter.