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Growth in foreclosure filings cools

Four of 10 problem states improve

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Foreclosure-related filings rose 12 percent from July to August and were up 27 percent from a year ago, according to data aggregator RealtyTrac.RealtyTrac counted 303,879 foreclosure-related filings during August, the highest since it began issuing reports in January 2005. But the 27 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure filings was less than seen in recent months, when it has ranged between 50 percent and 65 percent.RealtyTrac, which sells information on distressed properties on a subscription basis to home buyers, investors and real estate agents, said part of the reason for the smaller increase was a spike in foreclosure activity a year ago."The lower annual percentage increase this month is due to a big spike in activity last August -- particularly in default activity," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a press release. "Over the past few months we've seen annual increases in default activity and auction activity moderating, a...