Foreclosure Starts Rise For The 26th Consecutive Month

Massachusetts foreclosure petitions rose 16.6 percent between April 2015 and April 2016, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. This marks the 26th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition starts as banks continue to work through their backlog of foreclosures.

Lenders filed 1,117 petitions to foreclose last month, compared with 958 filed in April of last year. There have been 4,484 petitions filed year to date in Massachusetts, a 26.2 percent increase from last year’s mark through April of 3,367.

Last month lenders filed 1,179 petitions, a 6 percent increase over March 2015. For the two years before that, every month saw a double-or triple-digit percent increase year-over-year.

“Foreclosure starts might be starting to moderate a bit. At least the rate of growth has slowed from the 55 percent increase that we saw in 2015,” Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a statement. “April’s total of foreclosure starts is modestly lower than we saw in February and March. However, lenders are still processing a backlog so it is unlikely that we will see a dramatic decrease in the number anytime this year.”

There were 752 auction notices filed in April, a 71.3 percent increase from the 439 filed in April 2015. Year-to-date, there have been 2,886 auctions in Massachusetts, a 38.5 percent increase over the same period in 2015. An auction notice is a legal advertisement that the lender has scheduled an auction and publicly announced the time, date and address in local newspapers.

Foreclosure deed filings increased 29.5 percent from 353 in April 2015 to 457 in April 2016. Statewide, there have been a total of 1,944 deeds recorded in 2016, a 51.9 percent increase from the 1,280 filed through April 2015.

June 1, 2016 – Banker & Tradesman