The final three months of 2011 saw the number of delinquent loans and foreclosures throughout the country decrease, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association report.
The report indicates that the delinquency rate for mortgages of homes with one to four units declined in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period and a year earlier to a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.48 percent.
Additionally, mortgage records found the percentage of loans going through some form of the foreclosure process was 4.38 percent - lower on an annual and monthly basis.
"Mortgage performance continued to improve in the fourth quarter, reflecting the improvement we saw in the job market and broader economy," said MBA chief economist and senior vice president for research and education Jay Brinkmann. "The total delinquency rate and foreclosure starts rate decreased and are back down to levels from three years ago."
With the nation's employment situation bettering, the delinquency rate should continue to improve as well, Brinkmann added, noting that the rate of outstanding loans has actually been falling at a quicker pace than the country's jobless rate.
Record-low rates for home loans should ease the mortgage crisis facing many Americans, particularly homeowners, who can refinance new affordable terms for their loans.