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Warren Group sharply revises some Mass. foreclosure data

The Warren Group said Friday that it provided incomplete foreclosure data for September in a monthly report about foreclosure activity in Massachusetts, an error that resulted in an apparently skewed snapshot of the local housing market.

The Boston firm, which tracks real estate data, now says that 1,420 foreclosure petitions were filed in Massachusetts during September, up 22 percent from the number of petitions filed in September 2011.

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That’s a sharply different number from the one included in a report that the Warren Group issued Oct. 30. The company said then that 973 foreclosure petitions were started in September, a 16.4 percent decline from the same month a year ago.

Foreclosure petitions are the first step in the home-seizure process.

At the time, Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said that the drop was “another strong indicator of a housing market recovery.”

In the Friday press release that revised those numbers, the Warren Group said, “The corrections result from releasing preliminary data in error.”

Timothy Warren was not immediately available to elaborate on the error or to offer an interpretation of the status of the local housing market in light of the corrected data.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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