Distressed properties nationwide now total significantly less than 3 million according to data released on Wednesday by Black Knight Financial Services.  The majority of that number are now past due for less than 90 days.

The company released its "first look" at May 2016 mortgage performance data which showed serious mortgage problems continuing to decline.  Foreclosure starts, which did rise 5.79 percent from April to May are still, at 62,100 for the month, below pre-crisis levels. Starts are down by almost 20 percent from May 2015.

The foreclosure inventory, properties in the process of foreclosure, stood at 574,000 in May, representing 1.13 percent of properties in the U.S. with a mortgage.  That inventory has declined from 800,000 over the last year, a difference of 29 percent, and is down 21,000 units or 3.55 percent from the inventory in April.

Mortgage delinquencies of 30 days or more edged up by 7,000 month-over-month to 2,153,000, a rate of 4.25 percent but the total was down by 325,000 on an annual basis. Serious delinquencies, those extending beyond 90 days, fell by 11,000 from April and 160,000 a year earlier to 719,000.  None of those delinquency figures include properties actively in foreclosure.

The number of distressed properties nationwide, including those in foreclosure, totaled 2.727 million at the end of April compared to 3.280 million in May 2016.  Completed foreclosures during the month represented 2.03 percent of properties that were 90 or more days past due.

The monthly prepayment rate for mortgages, historically a good indicator of refinance activity, was 1.30 percent in May, an increase of 3.31 percent from April but Black Knight noted the rates continues to trail 2015 levels (down by 2.40 percent from May 2015) despite interest rates being lower than last year.

Black Knight will release additional and more detailed information of May mortgage performance in July's edition of its Mortgage Monitor.