Late mortgage payments up in 3Q

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NEW YORK (AP) ? More homeowners struggled to make their mortgage payments during the third quarter as lawmakers in Washington debated the debt ceiling and consumer confidence dropped.

The credit reporting agency TransUnion says the rate of mortgage holders late with their payments by 60 days or more rose in the June-to-September period for the first time since the last three months of 2009.

TransUnion says 5.88 percent of homeowners missed two or more payments, an early sign of possible foreclosure. That was up from 5.82 percent in the second quarter of this year.

The increase surprised TransUnion researchers, who previously forecast late payments, or delinquency, to fall for the quarter.