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A new forecast issued by Chicago-based TransUnion projects the national mortgage loan delinquency rate to decline to 5.06% by the end of 2013 from an estimated 5.32% at the conclusion of this year.

TransUnion also forecasts mortgage delinquencies will decline in 34 states and the District of Columbia, with only 13 states experiencing increases.

"As house prices and unemployment slowly improve, TransUnion's forecast indicates that the national mortgage delinquency rate will gradually drop throughout 2013," says Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "While we are encouraged by the direction of the forecast, we would have hoped for a projection that called for a more substantive drop in delinquencies. If the pace of improvement does not pick up, it will take a very long time to get back to 'normal' delinquency rates."

The mortgage delinquency rate peaked in the fourth quarter of 2009 at 6.89% after rising 12 consecutive quarters from its 1.94% mark in the fourth quarter of 2006 - a 255% increase.

TransUnion projects the largest mortgage delinquency rate declines to happen in Nevada (-18.62%), Minnesota (-13.58%), California (-12.14%) and Arizona (-11.61%). Other states that were most negatively impacted by the mortgage crisis - including Florida (-8.39%), Georgia (-9.19%), New Jersey (-4.95%) and New York (-7.67%) - also are expected to see declines.


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