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(AP) - RATE DECLINES: The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell in the third quarter to the lowest level in more than three years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

THE NUMBERS: The delinquency rate declined to 5.41 percent in the third quarter, down from 5.49 percent in the second quarter and 5.88 percent in the third quarter last year.

THE TREND: The late-payment rate on mortgages has improved because of several factors, including rising home prices and low interest rates that make it easier to refinance and lower their payments.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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