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Massachusetts Completed Foreclosures Shrink in 2012, Starts Increase

From 2011 to 2012, the number of completed foreclosures fell in Massachusetts, while foreclosure starts experienced a significant increase, according to a report from the ""Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com/.

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Completed foreclosures in the state decreased by nearly 13 percent, falling to 7,424 in 2012 from 8,531 in 2011.

The number of foreclosure petitions, which marks the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts, increased by more than 35 percent, rising to 17,152 in 2012 from 12,634 in 2011. The report explained petitions fell dramatically in 2011 as lenders slowed foreclosure processes.

For the most part, a declining trend was seen when assessing foreclosure trends in December and in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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In December, foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, numbered 265, down 65 percent from 758 recorded deeds in December 2011.

Foreclosure petitions fell 17 percent year-over-year in December to 835, which represents the lowest number of foreclosure petitions recorded since May 2011, when there were 699 petitions.

In the fourth quarter, foreclosure deeds totaled 931, which is a 56 percent decrease from 2,266 recorded deeds in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Foreclosure petitions, however, saw a slight 1.8 percent increase in the fourth quarter, rising to 3,276 from 3,217 petitions during the same quarter in 2011. The increase marks the fifth straight month of quarterly petition increases.

The share of REO sales for single-family homes also fell in 2012. Bank-owned sales represented 3.4 percent of single-family home sales across the state, down from 3.8 percent in 2011.

Sales for bank-owned condominiums accounted for 2.6 percent of all condo sales in the state in 2012, down from 3.5 percent in 2011.

The Warren Group also found a large decrease for auction announcements. Overall, 12,851 auction announcements were tracked in 2012, representing a 24 percent decrease from 2011. December auction announcements also fell to 172, which is an 84 percent decrease from 1,135 in December 2011.

About Author: Esther Cho

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