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WNYERS VALUE HOME AND HEARTH

COME HELL or high layoffs, Buffalonians pay their mortgages.

On March 31, only 0.31 percent of the area's mortgages were past due 90 days or more, according to a study by San Francisco-based Mortgage Information Corp. That places Buffalo 46th among 73 markets nationwide -- much better than the national average of 0.46 percent, and well below worst-ranked New Haven, Conn., at 1.55 percent.

Three other New York state cities didn't rank as well as Buffalo. Rochester was rated the 19th-worst market, at 0.61 percent; Albany was 14th, at 0.64 percent, and New York City was sixth, with 1.02 percent.

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