Foreclosures are tough: Homeowners lose their houses and ruin their credit, while banks get stuck with vacant, deteriorating real estate for months before selling it at a considerable loss. Increasingly, banks are finding another way: the short sale. Instead of waiting to foreclose, a bank preemptively sells a home at a deep discount and closes out the underwater mortgage, even if the house sells for less than the value of the mortgage. The result: Homeowners shed their mortgage debt, and banks unload properties more quickly and inexpensively. Here are the Top 10 metropolitan areas with the biggest average discounts on these pre-foreclosure homes, according to online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac. Can you guess which city is No. 1?
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