Foreclosure starts across Massachusetts in October reached their highest level in nearly two years and marked eight consecutive months of year-over-year monthly increases, according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.
Lenders filed a total of 965 foreclosure petitions in October, compared with 504 during the same month a year ago. This marked the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year increases and is the highest number of starts since November 2012. A total of 6,384 foreclosure starts have been filed so far this year, a 36.5 percent increase compared with 4,678 petitions recorded during the same period last year. Petitions mark the first step in the foreclosure process.
For Worcester County, The Warren Group reported 194 foreclosure petitions for October, up 166 percent from 73 petitions the previous October. Middlesex County also saw an increase of foreclosure petitions, which rose 87 percent to 133 petitions for the month. Petitions are up 31.5 and 30.5 percent for the year in Worcester and Middlesex counties, respectively.
Lenders continue to work through their backlog of long-delinquent mortgages and push the legal work through a pipeline that was clogged for all of 2013,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “The experience in Massachusetts is similar to national trends.”
Foreclosure deeds posted a 9.3 percent increase in October with 423 completed foreclosures recorded compared with 387 a year ago. This marked the third consecutive increase in deeds year-over-year and puts the number of foreclosure deeds at a level not seen since September 2012. Year-to-date, a total of 2,961 foreclosure deeds were recorded so far this year, down 6.7 percent from the 3,173 deeds recorded during the same period last year.
The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group also decreased slightly in October. Auction announcements declined 1.3 percent to 623 from 631 in October 2013. From January through October, 4,429 auctions were announced, a 14.5 percent decline from the 5,179 auctions recorded during the same period in 2013.