Mortgage delinquencies fell slightly in the first quarter, to 4.46%, from 4.48% in the fourth, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

But the group also said it had revised its figure for the third quarter last year to 4.41%, from 4.24%, and for the fourth quarter from 4.25%. Some lenders had been inadvertently omitted from the earlier surveys, the MBA said.

Reports had circulated that the delinquency rate had jumped sharply in the first quarter.

"While there clearly has been a deterioration in the level of delinquencies since the second quarter of 1995, the slight improvement during the first quarter suggests that any further deterioration ... may be modest," said David Lereah, chief economist for the trade group.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.