BOSTON, November 22, 2011 – Foreclosure activity statewide increased in October from a year ago, reversing a more than year-long trend, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Foreclosure activity has been suppressed for much of the past year as lenders slowed their public filings to review their procedures for documenting foreclosures. In October, petitions increased 5.9 percent from a year ago, rising to 1,193 from 1,127 in October 2010. This is the first time petitions increased year-over-year since August 2010. It’s also the fourth consecutive month petitions exceeded the 1,000 mark. A total of 10,610 foreclosure petitions have been initiated so far this year, down nearly 52 percent from 22,091 petitions filed the same period last year.

“A rise in foreclosures is troubling for distressed homeowners, but in this case it’s a positive signal that the backlog of foreclosures on bank’s books is working through the system,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “The real estate market cannot fully recover until foreclosures have been dealt with one way or another.”

A total of 756 foreclosure deeds were recorded in October, a 35.7 percent increase from 557 during the same month a year ago. A total of 6,963 foreclosure deeds have been filed so far this year, a 39 percent decrease compared to 11,334 deeds recorded during the same period last year.

The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group decreased in October. Auction announcements declined 61 percent to 1,284 from 3,292 in October 2010. From January through October, 14,354 auctions have been announced, a 45 percent decline from 26,049 auctions during the same period in 2010.