Massachusetts' foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process in the state, declined 67 percent to 694 in February, down from 2,122 a year earlier, according to ""the Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com, a Boston-based provider of real estate data.
Completed foreclosures also fell sharply, dropping 44 percent to 515 from 917 during February 2010.
""This is a remarkable turnaround in foreclosure activity, starting last fall,"" said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
Warren Group. ""It demonstrates a new Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgo-slow' attitude among lenders and a welcome relief for homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages.""
However, Warren warns that due to high levels of unemployment and high rates of delinquency on mortgage payments, it's not yet time for over-confidence.
""I'm afraid we'll be dealing with foreclosure issues for many more months,"" Warren said. ""Only when we see the values of homes rise again will I have confidence that we have turned the corner.""
The pace of foreclosure petitions in the Bay State has remained below 1,000 for the past three months. This is in stark contrast to several months in 2010 when petitions surpassed 2,000.
Foreclosure petitions and deeds dropped in every county statewide in February, except Dukes and Berkshire counties.
The Warren Group also tracked a drop in foreclosure auction announcements in February. A total of 842 auction notices were issued last month, a near 70 percent decrease from February 2010.