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New foreclosure actions fall in Mass.

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The number of foreclosures initiated around the state by lenders fell in February due to an improving economy and strong housing market, the Warren Group reported Tuesday. Lenders filed 439 foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, down nearly 50 percent from February 2013, Warren Group said. It was the 16th straight month of year-over-year declines in foreclosure petitions. Completed foreclosures, however, rose in February, to 280 from 241 in February 2013. But that’s still below the peak in 2010, when lenders completed 917 foreclosures.

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