Mass. foreclosure petitions drop 9 percent
Lenders initiated fewer foreclosures in Massachusetts in May than they did both a year ago and in April, but the number of completed foreclosures rose sharply, the Warren Group said today.
Foreclosures petitions, which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts, dropped 9.4 percent to 2,110 in May 2010 from 2,329 in May 2009 and down 13.2 percent from 2,431 in April 2010, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity.
However, the number of completed foreclosures more than doubled in May from a year ago.
"Foreclosure deeds, which are recorded when a property has been foreclosed on, surged 119.7 percent to 1,283 from 584 in May 2009," the Warren Group said. "May foreclosures were down 6.7 percent from the prior month’s 1,375 foreclosure deeds."
The Warren Group's press release included a statement from Timothy M. Warren Jr., the firm's chief executive.
"A year ago, we were seeing the opposite trend in Massachusetts," Timothy Warren said. "Foreclosure petitions were increasing as unemployment grew, but foreclosure deeds were declining because a state law that went into effect in 2008 delayed foreclosure proceedings. We’re now seeing the foreclosures that were started a year earlier being completed now."