National

Nov 19, 2009 10:13 AM by Alan Zibel

Mortgage delinquencies hit record-high in 3rd quarter

An industry group says more than 14 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of September, a record-high for the ninth straight quarter.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's quarterly report adds to fears that the housing market's recovery could be thwarted by the continuing surge in home loan defaults, especially as the unemployment rate keeps rising.

Lost jobs, rather than the shady loans made during the housing boom, are now the main reason homeowners fall into default.

Fixed-rate loans made to so-called prime borrowers with good credit histories caused nearly 33 percent of new foreclosures in the July-September quarter, compared with 21 percent a year ago.

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