Data shows mortgage payments improved in 2Q

NEW YORK (AP) ? The housing and job markets are still weak, but homeowners are slowly gaining strength.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the percent of mortgage holders who were 60 days or more late with payment in the spring decreased for the sixth straight quarter.

The rate fell to 5.82 percent for the second quarter from 6.67 percent last year. It peaked at 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The drop reflects stricter lending policies at banks for new mortgages. It also reflects a decline in the number of borrowers with older loans who lost their jobs or had payments that adjusted beyond their ability to pay.

The states with the highest delinquency rate remain Florida, Nevada, California, and Arizona. North Dakota and South Dakota have the lowest late payment rates.