For the first time in more than three years, the total balance of new mortgage originations is larger than that of loans in foreclosure, according to Equifax.

First-time homebuyer transactions and move-up buyer purchases by homeowners who increased their existing mortgage debt, "have finally overtaken foreclosures and accelerated pay-downs, resulting in increases home finance balances," explained Amy Crews Cutts, Equifax chief economist in a press release.

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