Massachusetts foreclosure filings in April were lower than numbers posted in February and March, but still 63 percent higher than a year ago according to report out today.
ForeclosuresMass.com, a Framingham firm that provides foreclosure data for investors, real estate professionals, and mortgage brokers, reported 2,002 filings in April, nearly 9 percent lower than the 2,190 filings in March 2007; the number of filings in February was 2,227, the highest monthly total in many years, ForeclosuresMass.com said.
The April 2007 numbers are significantly up from 1,228 filing in April 2006.
Still, recent dips from the February high may not signal a big shift in the filing trend.
"Our forecasts indicate that foreclosures will continue to have a negative impact on the Massachusetts real estate market throughout 2007," Jeremy Shapiro, president of ForeclosuresMass.com, said in a statement.
An analysis by his firm suggest that foreclosure filings aren't confined to poor communities.
In terms of percentage increases of foreclosure filings over the last 12 months, communities such as Boxborough, Lincoln, and Dover saw big jumps, though admittedly those jumps can come from a small base, the analysis showed.
In Boxborough, for example, there were 11 foreclosure filings over the past 12 months, up 1,000 percent from the previous 12 months, the report said.
"Virtually every community in Massachusetts is being impacted by the foreclosure crisis," Shapiro said in his statement.
State regulators have blamed subprime mortgage loans, which are generally marketed to home buyers with poor credit, for the rise in mortgage filings in the state; subprime loans often start out with a low interest rate, then adjust later to a higher interest rate, making the monthly payment unaffordable to the home owner.
A foreclosure filing is a preliminary step in the foreclosure process, and a filing doesn't always result in foreclosure.
Home owners can try to renegotiate the loan or sell the house to pay it off, but a sluggish housing market has made those options more difficult to pursue for many home owners.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)