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News Summary: Late-payment rate on mortgages falls

The Associated Press

RATE DECLINES: Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments declined in the last three months of 2012 to the lowest level in four years.

THE NUMBERS: The delinquency rate fell to 5.19 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 5.41 percent in the third quarter and 6.01 percent in the last three months of 2011.

THE TREND: The late-payment rate on mortgages has improved because of several factors, including rising home prices and low interest rates that make it easier for homeowners to refinance and lower their payments.