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Massachusetts’ February Foreclosure Deeds Wane

Fewer Bay State properties were foreclosed on in February compared to the prior month and a year earlier, according to a new report released Tuesday by Boston-based ""The Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com. Still, despite this flicker of positive news for the Massachusetts housing market, the number of foreclosures initiated by lenders climbed again for the fourth consecutive month.
The Warren Group, a real estate data provider for the New England area and publisher of _Banker & Tradesman_, reported that a total of 823 foreclosure deeds were recorded in Massachusetts in February, a 4.3 percent decline from 860 foreclosure deeds in February 2008. February foreclosure deeds were also 16 percent lower than in January, when there were 980 deeds recorded. However, for the first two months of 2009, foreclosure deeds jumped 8.6 percent to 1,803, up from 1,660 for the same period last year.
Commenting on Massachusetts' February numbers, Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said, ""While it’s positive that fewer homes were lost to foreclosure in February, the number of foreclosures initiated by lenders month-to-month has been steadily increasing since last November. In addition, the pace of foreclosures has remained fairly steady over the last six months, despite the fact that several large lending institutions have introduced temporary moratoriums on foreclosures in recent months.""
Based on The Warren Group's market data, lenders filed 2,295 petitions to foreclose on properties in Massachusetts in February, a 17 percent jump from 1,960 petitions in January. Despite the monthly increase, the research firm said, foreclosure petitions fell 19.1 percent from the same month in 2008. Foreclosure petitions are the first step in the foreclosure process, and so far this year, 4,255 foreclosure petitions have been filed in Massachusetts - a 29.7 percent decline from 6,050 foreclosure petitions during the same months in 2008.
The Warren Group tracked 917 auction announcements in Massachusetts in February, down 27 percent from 1,256 in February 2008 and 30.2 percent from 1,313 in January 2009. According to Warren, the pronounced slowdown in the number of auction announcements is the first time that they have fallen below 1,000 in the state since November 2007.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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