Mass. foreclosures fall in February
The number of Massachusetts foreclosures fell nearly 44 percent in February on a year-to-year comparison basis as lenders slowed down the foreclosure process, the Warren Group said this morning.
The number of foreclosure petitions, the first step in the state’s foreclosure process, also dropped sharply, down 67 percent on a year-to-year basis, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity.
But high unemployment rates mean that a rough period for foreclosures may not be over yet, Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. suggested in a statement.
Commenting on the February data, Warren said: "This is a remarkable turnaround in foreclosure activity, starting last fall. It demonstrates a new 'go-slow' attitude among lenders and a welcome relief for homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages. However, given the continuing high levels of unemployment and the high rates of delinquency on mortgage payments, I'm afraid we'll be dealing with foreclosure issues for many more months. Only when we see the values of homes rise again will I have confidence that we have turned the corner."
In February, there were 515 foreclosures in Massachusetts, down from 917 during the same month last year, the Warren Group said.
As for foreclosure petitions in February, there were 694 versus 2,122 in February 2010.
See town-by-town data on foreclosures in Massachusetts in February (pdf)