Foreclosure marketplace Web site RealtyTrac estimates that 1.17 million homes received foreclosure notices in the first half of 2011. That’s down 25 percent from the previous six months, but the group said that no one should take this as a sign that foreclosures are on the decline.

Instead, the report indicates that paperwork and other processing delays have simply delayed foreclosures that otherwise would have gone through.

“(We) estimate that as many as 1 million foreclosure actions that should have taken  place in 2011 will now happen in 2012, or perhaps even later,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac, said in a news release.

Saccacio added that the delays could cast a pallor over the housing market that’s likely to stick around as the economy falters and the U.S. struggles to add jobs.