As the market continues to march towards a recovery, the rate of loans that were at least 60 days late but current six months ago fell in March to its lowest level in six years, according to a report released by Lender Processing Services (LPS).

At 0.84 percent, the rate of “new problem loans” dropped below 1 percent for the first time since May of 2007, edging closer to pre-crisis levels, like those of 2004 and 2005, when rates averaged around 0.55 percent.

The report also found that the number of homeowners who are underwater has dropped dramatically since the depths of the housing crisis. In January of this year, 9 million people had negative equity in their homes, down from a peak of 17 million in January of 2011, LPS said.

On an annual basis, the number of loans with negative equity had plummeted by 41 percent as of January, LPS said.

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