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Petitions Drop To Lowest Level In 2013

BOSTON, July 30, 2013 – Foreclosure petitions, which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts, fell to the lowest monthly level since The Warren Group started compiling foreclosure statistics in 2006. A total of 245 petitions were recorded in June – an 84 percent decrease from 1,548 starts in June 2012. From January through June, 2,943 petitions to foreclose have been filed statewide, down almost 69 percent from 9,425 during the same period in 2012.

“One reason we’re seeing continuing declines in foreclosure activity is the sharp rise in home prices,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Fewer homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, which is helping the foreclosure issue.”

Foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, decreased more than 56 percent to 329 in June, down from 754 deeds in June 2012. Despite the decrease, this is the highest number of deeds so far this year. A total of 1,575 foreclosure deeds have been recorded in the first six months of the year, down almost 67 percent from 4,765 a year earlier.

“Aside from the rise in prices, a healthy economy, improved employment picture and favorable loan modification legislation is causing these steep decreases,” Warren added.

Second quarter foreclosure activity also decreased statewide. In the second quarter, foreclosure petitions fell 83 percent to 863, down from 5,077 during the second quarter 2012. This marks the only time on record that quarterly petitions fell below the 1,000 mark. Completed foreclosures in the second quarter also decreased significantly. Deeds dropped almost 65 percent to 814 from 2,302 during the same period last year.

The number of advertised auction notices also dropped during the month of June. There were 607 auction announcements in June, a 45 percent drop from 1,109 a year ago. Year-to-date auction notices decreased more than 68 percent to 2,567 from 8,132 last year.