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Mortgage delinquency rate drops in fourth quarter

While the mortgage delinquency rate declined in the fourth quarter, it also slowed compared to the third quarter.

While the mortgage delinquency rate declined in the fourth quarter, it also slowed compared to the third quarter.

It appears more people may be getting their financial houses in order.

According to numbers released by TransUnion regarding the national mortgage loan delinquency rate, more people made their mortgage payments in the fourth quarter, as the delinquency rate fell 0.45 percent compared to 2010's third quarter. That means that for all four quarters of 2010, the mortgage delinquency rate dropped.

However, because the delinquency rate decline was so minimal - the smallest rate of decline since the summer of 2009 - it may be a sign that borrowers aren't out of the woods quite yet.

"The current deceleration in falling mortgage delinquency rates is indeed concerning," said Tim Martin, vice president of the U.S. housing market in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "Coupled with the current amount of foreclosures on the market and the historic lows associated with TransUnion's real estate inquiry index, the news may be best for homebuyers who are looking for real estate bargains as prices continue to drop."

Indeed, for according to a report issued last week by ZipRealty, home sellers continue to slash their asking prices to woo people moving to the area. Compared to 2010, price-reduced home inventory was up almost 20 percent last month.