The mortgage delinquency rate in February slipped below 7 percent, according data from Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS).

On Tuesday, LPS provided an early look at month-end mortgage performance data for February and found the delinquency rate is at 6.80 percent, down 3.16 percent from January’s 7.03 percent and a decrease of 6.51 percent from February 2012.

At the same time, the foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate averaged 3.38 percent, which represents a 0.98 percent month-over-month decline and a 19.58 percent decrease year-over-year.

The number of mortgages that are at least 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure totaled 5.1 million in February, down from 5.2 million properties in January.

Of the 5.1 million unpaid mortgages, 3.4 million were 30 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure, while the number of loans in foreclosure inventory stood at 1.7 million.

LPS extracts data from its loan-level database, which represents approximately 70 percent of the overall market.

The data and analytics firm also revealed the five states with highest percentage of past due loans were Florida, New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada, and New York. The states with the lowest percentage of unpaid mortgages were Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

by Esther Cho