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January foreclosure numbers show progress

January foreclosure numbers decreased, according to a recent report.

January foreclosure numbers decreased, according to a recent report.

Numbers from January foreclosures filings, default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were recently released, showing improvements when compared with the same month in 2011.

The number of foreclosures decreased 19 percent in January when compared with January 2011, according to RealtyTrac's recently released U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The report also showed that foreclosure increased 3 percent from the previous month.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 210,941 U.S. properties in January, with one in every 624 U.S. housing units being foreclosed on during the month.

“Although overall foreclosure activity was down from a year ago for the 16th straight month in January, we continue to see signs on a local and regional level that the frozen-up foreclosure process is beginning to thaw,” said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than 12 months in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, following a pattern we saw in late 2011 in states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts."

Despite housing affordability being at record levels, some Americans are being held back from packing up and moving because of tight lending standards.