Risk of foreclosure dips, but remains elevated

The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure improved slightly over the summer but hardly enough to suggest the crisis in the housing market is ending.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says about 9.1 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the July-September quarter. That figure, which is adjusted for seasonal factors, fell from 9.9 percent in the April-June quarter and from a record high of more than 10 percent in the January-March quarter.

The percentage of homes in the foreclosure process fell slightly to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent.

Still, delinquencies and foreclosures remain elevated. They are expected to stay that way as long as unemployment remains high and home values continue to drop.