- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 5, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — An industry survey shows a record 5.4 million American homeowners with a mortgage, or nearly 12 percent, were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of last year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday the percentage of loans at least a month overdue or in foreclosure was up from 10 percent in the July-September quarter and up from about 8 percent a year earlier.

The sharpest increases in loans 90-days past due were in Louisiana, New York, Georgia, Texas and Mississippi, reflecting a spreading recession and massive job losses nationwide.

The report also showed the delinquency rates for fixed-rate mortgages climbed in the fourth quarter, another sign that layoffs are taking a toll on homeowners.

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