As a greater number of borrowers got a handle on their finances in August, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates declined significantly. This improvement could result in more relaxed lending standards, making it easier for Houston-based homebuyers to qualify for mortgages.The national mortgage delinquency rate plummeted 10.6 percent last month from August 2011, according to a report from Lender Processing Services. As a result, just 6.87 percent of borrowers were behind on payments. While this may still seem like a notable amount, it was a 30 percent decline from its peak at the beginning of 2010.Meanwhile, foreclosure activity also improved last month, the report said. The nation's pre-foreclosure inventory thinned 2 percent on an annual basis, which could be an indicator that homeowners are capitalizing on record low mortgage rates and government initiatives to avoid foreclosure.Although many parts of the country continue to struggle with foreclosure, activity in Harris County has been muted. At the end of August, one in every 907 Houston homes were in some stage of the process, according to RealtyTrac. This is compared to a national average of one in every 681.??? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.