Foreclosure activity in Massachusetts declined in February as a result of an improving economic conditions and a revitalized real estate market, the Warren Group said Tuesday.

A total of 856 foreclosure petitions were filed last month in the Bay State; that number was down 38 percent from the number in February 2012, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate activity. Foreclosure petitions are the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts.

“Seeing four consecutive months of petitions below 1,000 is a promising sign,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “The improved jobs picture and lenders’ willingness to do short sales and loan modifications are helping to fuel the decrease. Hopefully, this continues and improves consumer confidence as well.”

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During February, 240 foreclosure deeds were filed in Massachusetts, a drop of nearly 69 percent on a year-to-year comparison basis, the Warren Group said in a press release.