Warren Group: Feb. foreclosures dropped 4 percent
Fewer Massachusetts properties were foreclosed on in February when compared with January 2009 and February 2008, but the number of foreclosure proceedings initiated by lenders rose for the fourth straight month, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate data and that publishes Banker & Tradesman.
"A total of 823 foreclosure deeds were recorded in February, a 4.3 percent decline from 860 foreclosure deeds in February 2008," the Warren Group said in a press release about Massachusetts foreclosure activity. "February foreclosure deeds were also 16 percent lower than the number in January, when 980 deeds were recorded. Still, foreclosure deeds jumped 8.6 percent during the first two months of 2009 to 1,803 from 1,660 a year earlier."
"Lenders filed 2,295 petitions to foreclose in February, a 17 percent jump from 1,960 petitions in January," the Warren Group said. Foreclosure petitions, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, fell 19.1 percent from the same month in 2008 when 2,838 petitions were filed, the firm said.
"So far this year, 4,255 foreclosure petitions have been filed – a 29.7 percent decline from 6,050 foreclosure petitions during the same months in 2008," the Warren Group said in its press release.
The press release included a statement from Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group.
“While it’s positive that fewer homes were lost to foreclosure in February, the number of foreclosures initiated by lenders month-to-month has been steadily increasing since last November,” Timothy Warren said. “In addition, the pace of foreclosures has remained fairly steady over the last six months, despite the fact that several large lending institutions have introduced temporary moratoriums on foreclosures in recent months.”
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)