More than one in three foreclosed homes in the Chicago area are being lost at auction, a percentage that is rising toward the level reached after the home price collapse of the early 1990s, according to Foreclosures.com, Fair Oaks, Calif.The Chicago metropolitan area is one of six served by Foreclosures.com, an investment advisory firm that specializes in foreclosure properties. In five of those areas, "8% to 20% of homes that go into default actually make it to foreclosure auction," said company president Alexis McGee. "In Chicago, we're seeing at least 35% lost at auction, and our researchers tell us it could go to 50%." The last time 50% of homeowners in default lost their homes to foreclosure auctions was in 1996, the company said. Despite the rising percentage of foreclosure auctions, Foreclosures.com said new foreclosure filings were down slightly in August for the Chicago metropolitan area. The company can be found online at http;//www.foreclosures.com.

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