Mortgage delinquency rates, already near their lowest levels in nearly two decades, would be even better were it not for California's recession.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says 32 states plus the District of Columbia saw the decline in their delinquency rates exceed the overall U. S. showing of 33 basis points between the first quarters of 1992 and 1993. In contrast. only three rose, including California.

The MBA survey's first-quarter delinquency rate of 4.29% for all residential mortgages represents a slight gain from the fourth quarter's 4.24%. Warren Lasko, MBA's executive vice president. attributes the low delinquency levels to the refinancings that account for more than half of all new loans. Lasko predicted the delinquency rate will slide a bit more this year.These states saw delinquency rates increase from ayear ago ... Q1 '93 Q1 '92 ChangeHawaii 2.10% 1.84% +26 bpWest Virginia 4.24 4.07 +7California 3.60 3.56 +4... While these states had the biggest declines.North Carolina 4.46 5.54 -108D.C. 4.77 5.80 -103Texas 4.69 5.59 -90Connecticut 3.30 4.15 -85Alaska 3.23 3.97 -74Florida 4.24 4.95 -71Alabama 4.61 5.30 -69Iowa 2.37 3.05 -68Tennessee 5.86 6.54 -68New Hampshire 3.64 4.31 -67Colorado 2.85 3.51 -66Kentucky 3.59 4.24 -65All states 4.29 4.52 -33Source: Mortgage Bankers Association

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