Massachusetts foreclosure petitions increased 28.7 percent in May compared to May 2015 and for the 27th consecutive month, The Warren Group reported July 7, 2016.
There were 1,130 petitions to foreclose – the first step in the Massachusetts foreclosure process – filed at one of the state's land courts in May 2016 compared to 817 petitions in May 2015. There were 5,614 foreclosure petitions through May this year, a 26.7 percent increase from 4,430 petitions filed during the same time frame last year. Despite the increases, the number of foreclosure starts have slowed in 2016 after picking up last year when lenders began clearing out the backlog built up during a period of regulatory uncertainty.
“Foreclosure starts are beginning to ease in 2016. In 2015 the gain was 55.1 percent. The 26.7 percent gain so far this year is a significant drop off from last year.” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “While the increase is moderating, it seems unlikely that the total number of foreclosure starts will start to decrease in 2016.”
There were 458 foreclosure deeds recorded in May, a 33.1 percent increase from the 344 deeds recorded in May of 2015. There have been a total of 2,402 deeds recorded in Massachusetts in 2016, a 47.9 percent increase from the 1,624 recorded through May 2015. Foreclosure deeds represent completed foreclosures. Lenders record a new deed at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the property is located indicating there has been a change in the ownership of the foreclosed property.
There were 875 auction notices filed in May, a 52.7 percent increase from the 573 filed in May 2015. There have been 3,761 auctions in Massachusetts through the first five months of 2016, a 41.5 percent increase from the same period in 2015 when there were 2,657 auction announcements. 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.