Delinquencies hit lowest level since 3Q 2006.

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its National Delinquency Survey for the fourth quarter of 2015 and it showed that the seasonally adjusted delinquency rate for one-to-four-unit residential properties was 4.77 percent. That was the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2006. Even so, foreclosures kicked up in oil-dependent states during last year's final quarter.

The fourth-quarter delinquency rate in 2015 was 91 basis points lower than during the fourth quarter of 2014. The delinquency rate represents loans at least one payment past due but not in foreclosure.

MBA also reported that the percentage of loans where foreclosure had been started during the fourth quarter was down 10 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2014 and down 2 basis points from the third quarter of 2015.

The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process was down 11 basis points from the third quarter and down 50 basis points from one year ago, MBA said.

The foreclosure starts rate reached its lowest level since the second quarter of 2003, while the foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest since the third quarter of 2007.

Marina Walsh, vice president of industry analysis at MBA, said, "The overall delinquency rate fell to pre-recession levels and at 4.8 percent, was lower than the historical average of 5.4...

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