According to recent reports, mortgage delinquencies are gradually declining – or have increased, once foreclosures are removed from figures. This all depends upon who you ask and the statistics you pull from. The disparity in results from the Mortgage Bankers Association and credit bureau TransUnion symbolizes the regularly-fluctuating, never-quite-stabilizing housing market homeowners across the United States have come to expect.

Reported on May 28 in Consumer Affairs, a fair percentage of homeowners continue to have difficulty making mortgage payments on time, although foreclosure rates, not factored into these figures, continue to fall. Specifically, statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that the rate of delinquent loans increased to 7.25 percent for the first quarter of 2013, compared to the last period of 2012. Additionally, delinquencies of at least one month were up 16 basis points.

Foreclosures, the Mortgage Bankers Association points out, continue to decrease. While mortgage delinquencies appear up, foreclosures on a national scale dropped down to 3.55 percent – the lowest rate since 2008.

But, considering how intertwined real estate and homeownership are with employment, the factors the Mortgage Bankers Association finds confusing are those TransUnion sees as fueling market improvements: Better housing, increasing property values, and more employment opportunities give more homeowners a chance to make payments on time.

While the Mortgage Bankers Association, however, examines quarter-to-quarter figures, TransUnion, according to the Associated Press, looks at year-to-year numbers: specifically, that the first quarter of 2012 saw 5.78 percent delinquencies, and this amount dropped to 4.56 percent a year later.

TransUnion indicates in its report that this year-to-year drop is the greatest the credit bureau has seen since 1992. On the other hand, delinquencies continue to remain above average, which is above the one- to two-percent historical rate.