Foreclosure Starts, Completions Decrease By Double Digits Compared To Prior Year

BOSTON, June 5, 2013 – The number of foreclosure petitions statewide dropped almost 79 percent year-over-year to 370 from 1,750 in April 2012. This is up from March, when 284 petitions were filed statewide, but well below levels in months past that came in around 1,000 or higher. Through April of this year, 2,450 petitions to foreclose have been filed statewide, down almost 60 percent from 6,098 during the same period in 2012.

“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. “Another factor in the decline was recently reported by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. 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.”

Foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, declined more than 68 percent to 234 in April from 750 in April 2012. A total of 995 foreclosure deeds have been recorded in the first four months of the year, down 69 percent from 3,215 a year earlier.

The number of advertised auction notices also dropped significantly in April. There were 348 auction announcements in April, down more than 75 percent from 1,403 a year ago. Year-to-date auction notices are down 74 percent to 1,450 from 5,577 last year.