Foreclosure filings dropped 9.6% from December, RealtyTrac reports, largely due to the combined mitigation efforts of banks and the government - but remain 18% higher than a year ago. In January, one in every 466 houses was the subject of a foreclosure filing. Yesterday, Foreclosures.com said completed foreclosures plunged by more than 25% in January from December, to 72,694 from 97,841. Preforeclosure filings - an indicator of future completed foreclosures - also fell 12%. "Efforts last year by government and industry to lay the groundwork for housing recovery finally are yielding the hoped-for slowdown in the foreclosure hemorrhage," Foreclosure.com president Alexis McGee said.