Reducing the expense of servicing delinquent loans is a priority for most lenders despite today's low delinquency rates for conventional mortgages.

Loans made in 1998 have the lowest incidence of delinquency of any first-year loans since 1993. According to Mortgage Information Corp., a San Francisco-based research group, the overall rate for seriously delinquent loans was 0.65% at the end of December 1998, down from 0.74% one year earlier.

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