The number of properties in the foreclosure process nationwide continues to decline, according to a report released Tuesday by LPS Applied Analytics, a market research company.

Not only that, the total number of delinquent mortgages and foreclosures is below 5 million for the first time since 2008, when the housing crisis began. A delinquent mortgage is one where the homeowner is 30 or more days overdue on a payment.

The number of properties in the foreclosure process is the lowest since April 2009, according to the report. That is a decline of more than 19 percent compared to just a year ago.

Most of the bad loans from the crisis have made their way through the foreclosure process, said Herb Blecher, senior vice president of LPS.

 “We’re seeing new loan originations are of high quality and there’s not a lot of new problem loans entering the system,” he said.

States with the highest number of delinquent mortgages or foreclosure cases are those that have elaborate foreclosure processes, Blecher said. The list includes Florida, New Jersey, New York and Nevada. 

In the District, the number of delinquencies increased by 4.69 percent compared to March 2012 while the number of foreclosures fell by 16.83 percent. The reason delinquencies were up and foreclosures were down likely has to do with a 2010 law passed by the D.C. Council. Because of problems with the “Saving D.C. Homes From Foreclosure” law, the foreclosure process in the District has practically ground to a halt.

Delinquent mortgages fell by 7.36 percent in Maryland, while foreclosures increased by 10.88 percent compared to a year ago. Virginia saw a slight uptick of 3.64 percent in delinquent mortgages, but the number of foreclosures was down 42.69 percent compared to a year ago.