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U.S. mortgage delinquencies are faring much better compared to one year ago, according to Lender Processing Services' "First Look" report released Tuesday. The report provides month-end mortgage performance statistics from LPS' loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgages. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm will release more detailed reporting in its upcoming "Mortgage Monitor" report, which comes out at the end of this month. According to the report, 7.96% of U.S. home loans were 30 days past due but not in foreclosure in May, down a staggering 18.3% compared to the same month in 2010. This figure is down a slight 0.1% from April. LPS estimates there are 4.2 million mortgages in delinquency status, with 1.9 million seriously delinquent, meaning 90-plus days past payment. Foreclosure pre-sale inventory, on the other hand, continued to stay above last year's averages. Inventory was up 4.11% last month compared to the year ago period, totaling 2.2 million homes. Florida posted the highest percentage of noncurrent loans statewide in May, followed by Nevada, Mississippi, New Jersey and Illinois. The states with the least percentage were, in descending order, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota and North Dakota. In other recent news, LPS recently lowered its second quarter earnings estimate by 31% based on the sluggish mortgage market. Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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