Bankers believe that better times are ahead, with 65% saying that mortgage loan delinquencies will likely drop or stay level for the next six months, according to a FICO survey. In addition, 72% say that the number of small-business loans in default will decrease or stay the same. "As unemployment falls, even modestly, and four years of deleveraging begin to pay dividends, bankers are allowing themselves to feel some optimism," said Andrew Jennings, FICO's chief analytics officer.

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