BOSTON, Mar. 3, 2015 –Foreclosure deeds in Massachusetts fell statewide by 27.4 percent in January, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. Deeds, or completed foreclosures, mark the final step in the foreclosure process.

Statewide, there were 257 foreclosures deeds recorded in January, compared with 354 in the same month last year. This marked the lowest number of deeds recorded in any single month since July 2014 when there were 218 completed foreclosures.

Foreclosure petition activity in the Bay State increased in January, posting a 70 percent increase. Lenders filed a total of 618 foreclosure petitions in January, compared with 364 a year ago. This was the lowest percentage increase reported since September 2014. Petitions mark the first step

in the foreclosure process.

MAForeclosureJanChart“Despite the positive decline in completed foreclosures, we will continue to see petitions increase as long-time delinquent mortgages continue to be processed,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “What is happening in Massachusetts with increased foreclosure

activity is happening nationwide, as lenders continue to wade through a backlog of delinquent mortgages that have yet to be addressed.”

The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group jumped 250 percent in January, with 575 announcements compared with 165 in January 2014. This was the highest percentage increase since April 2007 when announcement climbed almost 340 percent year-over-year.