Residential delinquencies fell to 8.09% in September, a slight decline from the prior month but an almost 13% improvement from the same month a year ago, according to new "First Look" figures compiled by Lender Processing Services (LPS).

The delinquency numbers include all loans that are 30 days or more past due but exclude foreclosures. The company's findings are based on an analysis of 40 million loans – out of a possible universe of 56 million units.

In total, 4.2 million mortgages are "late."

Although the decline in late payments appears to be good news, foreclosures are still exceedingly high.

According to LPS, 1.84 million homes are considered 90 days or more past due – but are not in foreclosure. It measures the foreclosure "pre-sale" inventory at 2.17 million units.

States with highest percentage of non-current loans include Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey.

The healthiest states are: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

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