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Petitions, Deeds Drop Again

BOSTON, April 2, 2013 – Foreclosure activity in Massachusetts dropped again February, thanks to improving economic conditions and a revitalized real estate market, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Foreclosure petitions – the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts – dropped more than 38 percent in February. There were 856 petitions, down from 1,394 in February 2012. So far this year, there were 1,796 petitions filed, down 34 percent from 2,727 during the same period last year.

“Seeing four consecutive months of petitions below 1,000 is a promising sign,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “The improved jobs picture and lenders’ willingness to do short sales and loan modifications are helping to fuel the decrease. Hopefully this continues and improves consumer confidence as well.”

In February, 240 foreclosure deeds were filed statewide, down almost 69 percent from 767 in February 2012. Foreclosure deeds represent completed foreclosures. Year-to-date foreclosure deeds are down 66 percent. A total of 532 deeds have been filed so far this year, compared to 1,566 during the same period in 2012.

The Warren Group also tracked a decrease in auction announcements in February. A total of 330 auctions were announced in February, a 76 percent drop 1,384 in February 2012. Year-to-date announcements totaled 669 – a 77 percent decline from 2,960 during the same period last year.