Foreclosures up in July from June but down from '08
Foreclosures in Massachusetts increased almost 9 percent in July from June but dropped 38 percent from the number in July 2008, said the Warren Group, the Boston firm that publishes Banker & Tradesman and that tracks local real estate data.
"At the same time, the number of foreclosures initiated by lenders rose from the prior year and has approached historic highs," the Warren Group said in a press release.
With the recession, many consumers are struggling with layoffs, and some with higher monthly house payments, the result of purchasing a home with an adjustable-rate mortgage that later reset at a higher rate.
"Lenders started 2,822 foreclosure proceedings in Massachusetts in July, more than five times more than the same month last year and about the same as in June," the Warren Group said. "There were 502 petitions to foreclose filed in July 2008, while 2,835 were filed in June. Petitions to foreclose are the initial stage of foreclosure. A total of 16,635 petitions to foreclose were filed in Massachusetts Land Court through July, up 22.5 percent from 13,578 during the same months last year."
The press release included a statement from Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of the Warren Group.
“While petitions to foreclose don’t always result in actual foreclosures, this number indicates that a significant number of homeowners and properties are in distress,” Timothy Warren said. “Foreclosure petition activity has increased considerably this year after a temporary lull in the middle of last year when the state’s right-to-cure law went into effect. The law gives borrowers 90 days to catch up on missed mortgage payments. This means that despite intensive efforts to prevent foreclosures, strapped homeowners are still encountering problems paying their mortgages.”
Foreclosure deeds represent completed foreclosures, and there were 679 foreclosure deeds in July, a 38.2 percent drop from 1,099 in July 2008 and an 8.8 percent increase from 624 in June 2009, the Warren Group said. "A total of 5,419 foreclosure deeds were recorded from January through July, which is a 30.6 percent drop from 7,806 during the same period in 2008."