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Foreclosure starts level out

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A record 13.16 percent of mortgage loans on one- to four-unit homes were delinquent or in the foreclosure process at the end of June, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.In Florida, 22.8 percent of mortgages were at least one payment behind or in the foreclosure process, followed by Nevada (21.3 percent), Arizona (16.3 percent) and Michigan (15.8 percent).The rate of new foreclosure starts was essentially unchanged from March, as a large drop in foreclosures on subprime adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans was offset by increases on other types of loans, including prime fixed-rate loans.MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann said loan modification programs are holding foreclosure rates below where they would otherwise be, but that many foreclosures involve homes that are vacant, borrowers who no longer have jobs, or loans where there was fraud involved."It is unlikely we will see meaningful reductions in the foreclosure and delinquency rates until the employment situation improves...