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BOSTON, June 3, 2014 – Foreclosure petitions in the Bay State rose once again in April, posting a 126.3 percent increase compared with April 2013, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. This marks the second consecutive month of increases in petition filings. Petitions to foreclose mark the first step in the process.

Lenders filed 740 petitions to foreclose in April compared with 327 filings in April 2013. April also marked the highest number of petitions filed so far this year. A total of 2,203 petitions were filed in the first four months of this year, an 8.2 percent decrease from the 2,400 petitions filed in the same time frame last year.

MAAprilFore2014“There is no need to sound the alarm for another crash in the real estate market,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Foreclosure starts are up by dramatic percentages simply because a backlog of long-delinquent mortgages is emerging from the pipeline. New regulatory rules for executing foreclosures have been clarified, and lenders are processing delayed petitions to foreclose. Mortgage delinquency rates in Massachusetts are actually falling.”

Foreclosure deeds reported a 26.4 percent decrease in April with 173 deeds filed compared with 235 filings in April 2013. This month’s filings were the lowest since April 2006.  A total of 927 deeds were filed in the first four months of this year, a 7.1 percent decrease from the 998 deeds filed during the same period last year. Deeds represent completed foreclosures.

The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group rose slightly in April compared with a year earlier. There were 379 auction announcements filed, a 0.8 percent increase from the 376 announcements filed at the same time last year. Overall, auction filings have decreased by 30.3 percent so far this year to 1030 filings compared with 1,478 filings at this time last year.