In Shelby County, there were 1,030 total foreclosures in the first quarter this year, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports. That’s down from 1,252 foreclosures during the same period in 2012 – a drop of 17%. Pull back one year before that, though, and the number of foreclosures had spiked to 1,235 in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 964 in the first quarter of 2011. At this time last year, in other words, the area was in the midst of a 30% gain in foreclosures. Pointing to the recent drop, some local brokers and Realtors say a combination of forces is at work. There’s been a small improvement in the economy, which helps. Banks also are increasingly pursuing workouts, loan modifications and short sales.