Foreclosure start rates decline, per Mortgage Banking Association data.

The delinquency rate for first-lien mortgage loans on 1-4 unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99% of all loans outstanding at the end of the third quarter of 2015.

Here, National Association of Home Builders economist Michael Neal examines a new Mortgage Bankers Association report on foreclosure starts, which clocked in at their lowest totals in a decade, while delinquency rates are as good as they've been for a more modest eight year period. Neal writes:

The 4-quarter decline in the share of mortgages past due, measured on a not seasonally adjusted basis, reflected a decline across each stage of delinquency. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the percentage of all loans past due fell by 88 basis points over the quarter. Loans 30-59 days past due fell by 19 basis points, loans 60-89 days past due fell by 12 basis points, and loans 90 or more days past due decreased by 57 basis points.

This kind of performance keeps up for a couple more years, and people might start thinking that Americans will never not pay their mortgages, no matter what....

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