Strong job and wage growth helped mortgage delinquenciescontinue to diminish in the first quarter of 2017, the MortgageBankers Association reported.

Mortgages that are late —but not in foreclosure — accounted fora seasonally adjusted 4.71% of all mortgages as of March 31, downnine basis points from the previous quarter and down six basispoints from a year ago, according to the MBA's National Delinquency Survey released Tuesday.

Foreclosures were started on 0.3% of mortgages, up two basispoints from the previous quarter, but down five basis points from ayear ago. They contributed to the 1.39% of mortgages in foreclosureas of March 31, its lowest level since the first quarter of 2007.The foreclosure inventory fell 14 basis points from the fourthquarter and 35 basis points from a year ago.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.