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Foreclosure starts hit new peak

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The number of properties completing the foreclosure process and becoming bank-owned declined in August, but a record number of homes entered the foreclosure pipeline, data aggregator RealtyTrac said today.The report shows there is still an "ample supply" of properties in the foreclosure pipeline, even as the outflow of real estate-owned (REO) properties onto the resale market is more carefully regulated, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a press release.The 76,134 properties that became bank-owned in August represented a 13 percent decline from the high for the year seen in July -- 87,258 -- and a 16 percent decline from a year ago.But a record 138,224 properties entered the foreclosure process in August when they were subjected to notices of default or lis pendens, up 3 percent from July and a 16 percent increase from a year ago. The number of properties subjected to auction notices in August -- 144,113 -- was also a new record, rising 4 perce...