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Foreclosures increase in Mass.

Massachusetts foreclosure activity increased on a year-to-year basis in October from a year ago, following more than a year of declines, the Warren Group said this morning.

Many major lenders stopped completing foreclosures last fall after some bank employees, now known as robo-signers, acknowledged they were signing thousands of foreclosure-related documents without properly reviewing the paperwork. Since then, banks and mortgage companies have started to speed up seizure proceedings.

In the Bay State, 756 foreclosure deeds were recorded in October, a 35.7 percent increase from the same month a year ago, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate activity and publishes Banker & Tradesman.


Petitions are the first step in the foreclosure process. And in October, petitions increased 5.9 percent from a year ago to 1,193. This is the first time petitions increased year-over-year since August 2010, the Warren Group said; it’s also the fourth straight month that petitions have been above 1,000.

In a statement, Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said: “A rise in foreclosures is troubling for distressed homeowners, but in this case, it’s a positive signal that the backlog of foreclosures on bank’s books is working through the system. The real estate market cannot fully recover until foreclosures have been dealt with one way or another.”

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