The increasing number of borrowers "underwater" on their U.S. prime credit mortgages appears to be behind a decrease in private-label securitized loans' delinquency cure rates, according to Fitch Ratings.

Fitch said this trend indicates other loan performance problems may be mounting even though the number of U.S. prime RMBS loans rolling into a delinquency status has slowed.

Fitch defines delinquency cure rates as the percentage of delinquent loans returning to a current payment status each month. It said these have dropped from an average of 45% during 2000-2006 to the current level of 6.6%.

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