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Deeds Down 52 Percent, Petitions Up 22 Percent

BOSTON, December 3, 2012 – Massachusetts foreclosure petitions rose 22 percent in October, while foreclosure deeds dropped to the fewest number of completions so far this year, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

A total of 371 foreclosure deeds were recorded in October, a 52 percent drop from 775 during the same month a year ago. This is the fewest number of deeds recorded in any month since February 2007, when there were 350 completed foreclosures. A total of 6,861 foreclosure deeds have been filed so far this year, a 2.5 percent decrease compared to 7,040 deeds recorded during the same period last year.

“Foreclosure deeds declined for the fifth month in a row, another strong indicator of a housing market recovery,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “However, foreclosure starts are often a leading indicator and the increase could be cause for concern.”

In October, a total of 1,458 petitions were initiated – a 22 percent increase from 1,193 in October 2011. Petitions increased from the previous month, rising slightly from 1,420 in September. This is the highest number of petitions recorded for the month of October since 2009.

Year-to-date foreclosure petitions are up over last year. A total of 15,334 foreclosure petitions have been initiated so far this year, up 44.5 percent from 10,610 petitions filed during the same period last year.

The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group also decreased in October. Auction announcements declined 34.7 percent to 901 from 1,380 in October 2011. From January through October, 12,227 auctions have been announced, a 15.3 percent decline from 14,450 auctions during the same period in 2011.