Lenders seized fewer U.S. homes in August, in part due to the rising popularity of alternatives to foreclosure, data analysis firm CoreLogic said on Thursday.
There were 57,000 foreclosures completed in August, down from 58,000 in July and 75,000 a year ago, according to CoreLogic .
There were approximately 1.3 million homes in the foreclosure process, accounting for 3.2 percent of all mortgages. That was unchanged from July, but it was down from the 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent, seen in August 2011.
About 3.8 million foreclosures have been executed since September 2008, the throes of the financial crisis.
August was the fourth month that fewer foreclosures were completed. The decrease was in part due to lenders turning to other methods of dealing with distressed homes, such as short sales or loan modifications, said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic.
"The continuing downward trend in foreclosures and a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are important signals that the recovery in housing is gaining traction," Nallathambi said in a statement.
Still, there were higher concentrations of foreclosures in some areas. In the last year, nearly half of all completed foreclosures occurred in five states - California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Gunna Dickson)