The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate, which includes all loans that are at least one payment past due, fell to 7.99 percent in the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. The drop brought the delinquency rate to its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said the delinquency picture changed for the better in the third quarter but noted a slight increase in foreclosure starts, driven primarily by the progression of delinquent loans through the foreclosure process in the states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. In fact, the five states with the highest number of loans in foreclosure represent 52 percent of the national total. Outside of those hardest hit states, foreclosure starts were relatively flat during the third quarter. More here and here.