Late-payment rate on mortgages tumbled in 1Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A resurgent housing market, rising home values and steady job gains are helping more U.S. homeowners stay on top of their mortgage payments.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday that the percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell on an annual basis by 21 percent in the first quarter.

The sharp annual decline in the mortgage delinquency rate represents the biggest quarterly drop on record for TransUnion, whose data go back to 1992.

All told, the mortgage delinquency rate was 4.56 percent in the first quarter.

That’s down from 5.78 percent in the prior-year quarter.

The mortgage delinquency rate is still above the 1 percent to 2 percent average historical range, an indication that many homeowners still are struggling to make their payments.

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