While they are still higher than where they have been historically, mortgage delinquency rates moved lower for the fourth straight quarter last year, according to TransUnion, one of the nation's big three credit bureaus.

The firm reported that according to its data, the rate of mortgage holders more than 60 days late on their mortgage payments moved from 5.41% in the third quarter of 2012 to 5.19% in the fourth quarter. This was significantly below the 6.01% that the rate held in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The national mortgage delinquency rate experienced its largest yearly decline since the conclusion of the recession, though we still remain far above normal levels," said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit.

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