Foreclosure rates in the Chicago metropolitan area were down significantly in the second quarter compared with those recorded late in 2004, according to Foreclosures.com, an online seller of foreclosed property.Foreclosures.com also said mortgage fraud continues to be a problem in the Windy City. "At the end of last year, we were seeing about 1,700-1,900 new [foreclosure] cases per month filed in Cook County," said Alexis McGee, president of Foreclosures.com. "Now we're down to a little over 1,300 per month." She added that the Chicago housing market is still strong, but that inventories of unsold homes are beginning to rise, suggesting a cooling market. Regarding mortgage fraud, Ms. McGee said it is clouding the foreclosure picture. "There are signs that organized crime is getting into that scam," she said, citing a report by the Chicago police superintendent. The Fair Oaks, Calif.-based company can be found online at http://www.foreclosures.com.

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