The rate of late mortgage paymentsdropped in the first quarter for the first time since 2006, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. The 60-day delinquency rate slipped to 6.77 percent, from 6.89 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. That was the first decline after 12 consecutive quarters of steady increases. … Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday the U.S. wants to see results from Toyota's efforts to improve safety, and more fines would be imposed if needed. The world's largest car manufacturer has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for safety lapses affecting some of its top-selling models. The company recently paid a record $16.4 million U.S. government fine because of a four-month delay in telling authorities about defective gas pedals. … Flights across Europewere operating normally today after a plume of volcanic ash that disrupted air traffic and forced some airports to close over the weekend dispersed. But delays on trans-Atlantic flights were expected because another band in mid-ocean was still blocking the air routes between Europe and North America. Air traffic charts showed that airliners were being diverted far to the north, over Greenland, to avoid the danger zone around the Icelandic volcano.