New data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reflects improvement in the mortgage sector. According to OCC, the share of home loans current and performing in the third quarter hit 91 percent -- up from 88.6 percent a year earlier. In the meantime, early-stage delinquencies, or those 30 to 59 days past due, declined to 2.6 percent from 3.1 percent over the 12 months ended in September.
For mortgages at least 60 days late, the number dropped to 3.6 percent from 4.4 percent. OCC also reported significantly fewer foreclosures for the third quarter. Homes in foreclosure shrank 48 percent to 604,763 compared to a year ago, while completed foreclosures were down 28 percent to 82,841. More Americans were able to stay in their homes thanks to the strengthening economy, foreclosure prevention programs, and loan transfers.