Mortgage delinquencies in U.S. hit record high in third quarter

The nation's deep economic woes continue to hit U.S. homeowners hard as more of them fell behind on their mortgages in the third quarter, a report released Tuesday showed. The percentage of homeowners more than 60 days past due on their mortgage payments rose to a record 6.25% nationwide in the three months ending Sept. 30, according to credit-reporting firm TransUnion.

The rise was the 11th straight quarterly increase in the number of households delinquent on mortgage payments, TransUnion said. Being two months behind is traditionally viewed as a precursor to foreclosure as homeowners by that time find it difficult to make up overdue payments. Year-over-year, the rate was up about 58%, from slightly less than 4%.