Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job keeping up with payments.
Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the trend is helping bring down the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate to the lowest level in four years.
The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on payments fell to 5.19 percent in the last three months of 2012. That's down nearly 14 percent since the last three months of 2011.
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.
The states with the lowest delinquency rates were North Dakota at 1.53 percent; South Dakota at 1.97 percent; and Nebraska and Alaska at 2.20 percent.
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