Mortgage delinquencies tumble

Homeowners show they're capable of handling the financial responsibilities that come with mortgage borrowing.More homeowners are showing that they have the financial wherewithal to afford their home loans, recent data suggests.According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, the national mortgage delinquency rate – or the number of borrowers who were more than 60 days delinquent on a mortgage payment – dipped in the final quarter of 2012 from 5.4 percent to 5.1 percent. It’s the fourth straight quarter in which fewer people were?behind on their mortgage debt from the previous three-month period. In fact, since December of 2011, the mortgage delinquency rate has plummeted 14 percent.Tim Martin, group vice president of housing for TransUnion, noted that these most recent statistics mark the most significant yearly decline in delinquencies since the recession came to an end, which the national Bureau of Economic Research says ended in the summer of 2009. He cautioned, however, that the rate is still high from a historical perspective, though the delinquencies are mainly resulting from older vintage loans.The states with the lowest mortgage delinquency rates for the fourth quarter were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Alaska, TransUnion data reveals.Similarly, borrowers who own Houston homes are faring well with their credit, which can take a hit when mortgage payments are consistently missed. A mere 0.6 percent of Houston homeowners had credit scores below 620 in the third quarter, according to credit reporting firm Equifax.
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