According to Bloomberg, the share of U.S. mortgages that are seriously delinquent fell to a five-year low as job gains help borrowers keep up on payments while rising home prices enable others to sell.

The percentage of home loans that were more than 90 days behind or in the foreclosure process fell to 5.65% in the third quarter from 7.03% a year earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. That was the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2008, when it was 5.17%.

“The speed of the decline in the foreclosure rate is faster than I anticipated,” Michael Fratantoni, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president for research and economics, said in a telephone interview today from Washington. “The strength of the housing recovery is benefiting the distressed portion of the market, clearing it up more quickly.”

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