Some 5.7 percent of residential mortgages were 90 days or more past due or in the foreclosure process in the third quarter, down from 7 percent a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Although delinquencies and foreclosures remain high by historical norms, the share of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure has fallen to the lowest level in five years.
Foreclosures continue to decline in judicial states more slowly as mortgage firms sometimes struggle to demonstrate ownership. Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois accounted for nearly half of all loans in foreclosure at the end of the quarter. Miami had the highest foreclosure rate among large metro areas, with 11.4 percent of mortgages in some stage of foreclosure, followed by Tampa at 9.4 percent and Long Island, N.Y., at 7.2 percent.