Almost 9 percent of U.S. homeowners missed a payment

The Mortgage Bankers Association said Monday that 8.44 percent of homeowners missed at least one mortgage payment in the April-June quarter. That figure, which is adjusted for seasonal factors, rose 0.12 percentage point from the January-March period of 2011.

In a normal market, the percentage of delinquent borrowers is about 1.1 percent, according to the trade group.

Delinquent mortgages have plummeted from a record high of more than 10 percent of residential mortgages a year ago. But the decline is due partly to delays in foreclosure filings that are backlogged in several state courts, including Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and New York.

The end of a state and federal investigation into faulty foreclosure paperwork will likely lead to increased foreclosures later this year.

Analysts say the increase is especially worrisome because it’s due mainly to high unemployment, which tends to raise the number of missed payments and foreclosures over time. And once delayed foreclosures are re-started, the economy could suffer a hit.