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Number of homes in foreclosure down 19.5 percent from year ago

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The number of U.S. homes in the foreclosure process and lost to foreclosure both saw double-digit year-over-year declines in December, according to a report from data aggregator CoreLogic released today. Completed foreclosures fell 21 percent on an annual basis and 3 percent on a monthly basis in December, to 56,000. To put that in perspective, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006, according to CoreLogic. Since the financial crisis hit in September 2008, about 4.1 million homes have been lost to foreclosure, 767,000 of them in 2012. Foreclosure inventory -- the number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process -- came in at about 1.2 million homes in December, down 19.5 percent compared to December 2011 and down 4.2 percent compared to November. Foreclosure inventory in December represented about 3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, CoreLogic said. "The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed ...