Lenders completed 566 foreclosures in Massachusetts in August 2012, a number that represents the lowest monthly foreclosures so far this year, The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, recently reports.
August marked the third consecutive month of year-over-year foreclosure deed decreases. It is also the fewest number of completed foreclosures in any month since February 2011, when there were 521 foreclosure deeds statewide. Foreclosure deeds dropped 40 percent to 566 compared to 947 in August 2011. A total of 5,975 foreclosure deeds have been filed so far this year, an 8.4 percent increase compared to 5,511 deeds recorded during the same period last year.
The recent decline in completed foreclosures may
indicate a greater effort on the part of lenders to work with borrowers to find alternatives to foreclosure.
Year-over-year petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, rose slightly in August, increasing 4.2 percent to 1,456 from 1,397 in August 2011. Petitions have increased every month so far this year, except in July when petitions dropped 16.8 percent year-over-year. A total of 12,079 foreclosure petitions have been initiated so far this year, up 46 percent from 8,253 petitions filed the same period last year.
The foreclosure petition numbers seem to contradict the foreclosure deed numbers; however, lenders put the breaks on foreclosures for a while last year amidst controversy over faulty foreclosure proceedures. The uptick this year may be a result of a backlog.