Late-payment rate on mortgages down in 3Q

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Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, aided by rising home values, low interest rates and stable job gains.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the percentage of U.S. mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell in the July-September quarter to 4.09 percent.

That's down 23 percent from 5.33 percent a year earlier and down 5.3 percent from 4.32 percent in the second quarter.

The latest rate is also the lowest mortgage delinquency rate since the third quarter of 2008, when it was 4.01 percent.

The rate of late payments on mortgages has been steadily improving over the past five quarters.

That coincides with a two-year rebound in U.S. home sales and prices, and a steady drop in foreclosures.

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