Mortgage late payments rose in the first quarter to an overall national rate of 8.32%, although the 90-plus day rate and the number of foreclosures started declined, according to new figures compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Based on the MBA’s late payment rate that means roughly $790 billion of one- to four-family loans are in some form of arrears. (National Mortgage News (NMN) estimates that housing debt in the U.S. fell to $9.5 trillion at March 31, from $9.6 trillion at yearend.)

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