Published: Aug 08, 2012 8:59 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An analysis of consumer credit data shows that the percentage of U.S. homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments hit a three-year low in the second quarter. Credit reporting agency TransUnion says 5.49 percent of the nation's mortgage holders were behind on their payments by 60 days or more in the April-to-June period. That's the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009. Before the housing bust, mortgage delinquencies were running at less than 2 percent nationally. Still, the rate of decline remains slow, and the percentage of mortgages going unpaid is unlikely to return anytime soon to where it was before the housing market crashed. TransUnion anticipates the mortgage delinquency rate will continue to decline, but will remain above 5 percent this year.