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Auctions rose 8.8 percent; deeds follow the same trend with a 66.9 percent increase

BOSTON, March 29, 2016 – Foreclosure petitions in the Bay State rose again in February, increasing 45.6 percent compared with February 2015, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. This marks the 24th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition starts. This is the highest number of petitions reported in February since 2012.

Lenders filed 1,264 petitions to foreclose in February this year, compared with 868 filed in February of last year. There have been 2,188 petitions filed year to date in Massachusetts, a 47.2 percent increase from last year’s mark through February of 1,486. Petitions note the first step in the foreclosure process, when lenders file notice of their intention to foreclose with the Commonwealth’s Land Court.

“While there’s no doubt some new delinquencies are occurring, the majority of what we’re seeing as ‘new’ foreclosures are loans that have been delinquent for quite some time,” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Lenders continue to work through what remains of their backlog from several years ago, when the entire industry ground to a halt to await the outcome of legislative and regulatory changes and updates.”

There were 644 auction notices filed in February, an 8.8 percent increase from the 592 filed in February 2015. There have been 1,389 auctions in Massachusetts year to date, a 19.2 percent increase from the same stretch in 2015 when there were 1,167. An auction notice is an alert to the Land Court that the lender has scheduled an auction and publicly announced the time, date and address in legal notices in local newspapers.

There were 519 foreclosure deeds filed in February, a 66.9 percent increase from the 311 deeds filed in February 2015. There have been a total of 867 deeds recorded in Massachusetts in 2016, a 52.6 percent increase from the 568 filed through February 2015. These deeds represent completed foreclosures, when lenders record a new at the Registry of Deeds indicating there has been a change in the ownership of the foreclosed property.

The most up-to-date petition filings, auctions and completed foreclosures are available weekly in Banker & Tradesman.

The Warren Group has recorded and tracked real estate transactions since 1872. The fourth-generation family-owned company uses its long-time leadership in the Boston real estate and banking information to produce specialized reports and news publications, including Banker & Tradesman and The Commercial Record.

With more than 140 years as a local business leader, The Warren Group has developed relationships with a variety of industry leaders and trade groups, including bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions and lawyers. Working together with our partners, The Warren Group organizes trade shows and industry events.  For more information about The Warren Group, visit

To see a county-by-county breakdown of foreclosures, click here. For town-by-town statistics, click here.