Bay State Foreclosure Starts, Completions See Dramatic Declines in April

Bay State Foreclosure Starts, Completions See Dramatic Declines in April

06/07/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

Massachusetts foreclosure starts and completions plummeted over the last year in April, the Warren Group reported.

For the month, the number of foreclosure petitions, which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in the Bay State, stood at 370, down 79 percent from April 2012 when there were 1,750 foreclosure petitions. Month-over-month, however, petitions are up from 284 in March.

From January to April, 2,450 foreclosure petitions were filed in the state, according to the Warren Group. The figure represents a near 60 percent decreased from the 6,098 petitions during the same period last year.

“We’re seeing foreclosure starts consistently under the 1,000 mark for six straight months and fewer than 500 for two straight months. The real estate market has improved dramatically in 2013 with median prices up 11 percent and this has slowed foreclosures,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group.

Warren though questioned how long the significant declines will last based on findings from the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP).

“MHP found that a 2012 state law that requires banks to notify borrowers of their rights to pursue a loan modification before foreclosing is contributing to this precipitous drop. The real question is whether foreclosure activity will pick back up once lenders have modified their procedures to comply with the new law,” he said.

Complete foreclosures also saw drastic declines, with foreclosure deeds totaling 234 in April, down 68 percent from 750 in April 2012. Year-to-date, foreclosure deeds decreased by 69 percent to 995 compared to 3,215 during the same time period last year.

Auction announcements fell steeply as well, decreasing by more than 75 percent to 348 in April. During the first four months of this year, auction notices totaled 1,450, down 74 percent from last year.


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