While the number of initiated foreclosures in Massachusetts increased year-over-year in 2009, the number of completed foreclosures decreased during the same period, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, a Boston-based provider of real estate data in New England.[IMAGE]
Up from 21,804 in 2008, the number of foreclosures initiated in Massachusetts soared 28.1 percent in 2009 to 27,928. Meanwhile, the number of completed foreclosures declined 25.4 percent to 9,269 last year, compared to 12,430 in 2008.
""The good news is that not as many homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure in 2009 as they did the prior year,""[COLUMN_BREAK]
said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. ""The bad news is that more people faced foreclosure, as they struggled with unemployment and other economic hardships.""
Foreclosure activity in Massachusetts last year was tempered by efforts to modify mortgage loans and a Massachusetts land court decision which forced some lenders to hold back on recording foreclosure deeds or to restart these deeds after proper mortgage assignments had been made, Warren said.
Foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, reached 2,060 in December, a 6.4 percent increase from November 2009 and a 26.8 percent jump from December 2008. Foreclosure deeds, representing completed foreclosures, surged to 857 in December, a 22 percent rise from November 2009 but a drop of 8.4 percent year-over-year.
In addition, The Warren Group tracked slightly more auction announcements in 2009. A total of 19,441 auction announcements were tracked last year, a 0.9 percent increase from 2008. In December, auction announcements totaled 1,931, falling 13.3 percent from November but soaring 60.1 percent from the same month in 2008.