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U.S. foreclosures drop circumstantially

U.S. foreclosures drop circumstantially
A foreclosure sign is seen in front of a house on 16th Street NW in Washington on August 22, 2010. More than 2.3 million homes have fallen into foreclosure since the recession began in later 2007, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Economists expect the number of foreclosures to grow into 2011. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. foreclosure filings fell sharply in November due to seasonal fluctuations and extenuating circumstances, foreclosure specialist RealtyTrac said Thursday.

RealtyTrac, a firm that markets foreclosed properties, said there were 262,339 foreclosure filings in November, which included default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

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One in every 492 housing units in the country was involved in foreclosure in the month. Overall, foreclosure activity dropped 21 percent from October and 14 percent from November 2009.

It was the first month since February 2009 the total number of foreclosures fell to less than 300,000 but the decline was not necessarily a sign of improvement in the housing market, RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James Saccacio said.

"While part of the decrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 percent to 10 percent that typically occurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversy forced lenders … to hit the pause button on many foreclosures," he said.

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