Massachusetts foreclosure activity dropped sharply in January, posting double-digit decreases in both foreclosure initiated and completed foreclosures, The Warren Group, a publisher of real estate data, reported March 3, 2011.
The number of foreclosure petitions, which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts, dropped almost 58 percent statewide in January, declining to 793 from 1,874 in January 2010. Foreclosure petitions increased from the previous month. There were just 733 petitions in December 2010. January marked the second consecutive month there were less than 1,000 foreclosure petitions.
There were 468 foreclosure deeds in January 2011, a decline of nearly 59 percent from the 1,141 foreclosure deeds recorded in January 2010. Foreclosure deeds represent completed foreclosures. Foreclosure deeds also decreased in January from December 2010 when there were 481 foreclosure deeds recorded.
Foreclosure petitions and deeds in January dropped in every Massachusetts county.
The decline in Massachusetts foreclosure activity likely has as much to do with lenders slowing the foreclosure process after a flurry of bad publicity and court cases involving foreclosure practices as it does with homeowners getting their financial house in order.