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Auctions rose 71.3 percent; petitions in April ease with a 16.6 percent increase

BOSTON, June 1, 2016 – Foreclosure petitions in the Bay State rose again in April, increasing 16.6 percent compared with April 2015, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. This marks the 26th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition starts.

Lenders filed 1,117 petitions to foreclose in April this year, compared with 958 filed in April of last year. There have been 4,484 petitions filed year to date in Massachusetts, a 26.2 percent increase from last year’s mark through April of 3,367. Petitions note the first step in the foreclosure process, when lenders file notice of their intention to foreclose with the Commonwealth’s Land Court.

“Foreclosure starts might be starting to moderate a bit. At least the rate of growth has slowed from the 55% increase that we saw in 2015,” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. ”April’s total of foreclosure starts is modestly lower than we saw in February and March. However, lenders are still processing a backlog so it is unlikely that we will see a dramatic decrease in the number anytime this year.

There were 752 auction notices filed in April, a 71.3 percent increase from the 439 filed in April 2015. There have been 2,886 auctions in Massachusetts year to date, a 38.5 percent increase from the same stretch in 2015 when there were 2,084. An auction notice is a legal advertisement that the lender has scheduled an auction and publicly announced the time, date and address in local newspapers.

There were 457 foreclosure deeds filed in April, a 29.5 percent increase from the 353 deeds filed in April 2015. There have been a total of 1,944 deeds recorded in Massachusetts in 2016, a 51.9 percent increase from the 1,280 filed through April 2015. These deeds represent completed foreclosures, when lenders record a new deed 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.