Provision for loan loss expense for the fourth quarter was $0.9 million, down sharply from the $14.1 million of provision for loan loss expense in the fourth quarter of 2011 and also down from $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2012. Provision for loan loss expense for the full year 2012 was $15.0 million, down significantly from the $67.9 million of provision for loan loss expense in 2011. In addition, the Company reported that its nonperforming assets declined to $130.7 million at December 31, 2012, a decline of $28.5 million from September 30, 2012, marking the ninth straight quarterly decline in nonperforming assets. Nonperforming assets declined $66.5 million, or nearly 34%, during the full year 2012. Nonperforming assets represented 6.36%, 7.68% and 9.08% of total assets at December 31, 2012, September 30, 2012, and December 31, 2011, respectively.
Noninterest income was $0.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $(1.1) million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $2.2 million during the third quarter of 2012. Noninterest income continued to be impacted by losses and impairments on foreclosed real estate, which totaled $8.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Mortgage revenue increased during the quarter to $6.1 million as origination volume continued to be positively impacted by the continued low interest rate environment. Noninterest income for the full year 2012 was $7.7 million compared to $4.2 million in 2011, due primarily to the increase in mortgage banking revenues.
Noninterest expense was $22.4 million during the fourth quarter, compared to $23.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $20.4 million in the third quarter of 2012. Higher salary and benefit expense in our mortgage operations to meet higher loan demand and increases in costs associated with the ongoing management and collection of the Company's portfolio of nonperforming assets contributed to the increase from the third quarter. Noninterest expenses for the full year were $81.4 million in 2012 compared to $103.7 million in 2011, as the Company's operating expenses benefitted from lower FDIC assessments, fewer branches, lower IT costs due to system conversions, and reductions in personnel.