The dramatic dip in foreclosure filings comes after "months of sustained year-over-year declines," the Woodstock Institute said in an announcement last week of the new data.

In the city of Chicago, a total of 3,950 properties began the foreclosure process during the first half of 2014, a 34.4 percent decrease from a year ago.

Although local foreclosure filings have hit pre-recession levels, Chicago activists working on the ground to help struggling homeowners say many communities, particularly low-wealth and majority minority neighborhoods, continue to grapple with the effects of the housing crisis.

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