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Massachusetts foreclosure starts rise in June, the Warren Group says

Timothy M. Warren Jr.Photo courtesy of the Warren Group

Massachusetts foreclosure starts in June rose 99.1 percent when compared with foreclosure starts in June 2013, but last month's number was 14.8 percent lower than the number for May 2014, the Warren Group reported Wednesday.

The big June-to-June jump should be taken in the context of the regulatory uncertainty that surrounded recent changes in the foreclosure process, said the Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks local real estate data.

In June 2014, there were 488 foreclosure petitions filed in the Bay State. (Foreclosure petitions are the first step in the foreclosure process.) That compared with 245 petitions filed in June 2013. During the foreclosure crisis of several years ago, there were 2,835 foreclosure petitions filed in Massachusetts in June 2009.


Foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, fell by more than 18 percent to 268 in June 2014, down from 329 deeds in June 2013.

"The clean-up continues as lenders push through the backlog of delinquent mortgages," Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. "The number of petitions filed last year at this time was artificially low due to regulatory uncertainty regarding the proper procedures for taking foreclosure action."

Lenders seem to be accelerating the pace of foreclosure activities after a recent pause of several months to mull over new regulations. In 2012, Massachusetts passed a law that required lenders to consider loan modifications before foreclosing on certain homes; those regulations were not finalized until last summer.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, meanwhile, also wrote new mortgage rules, which took effect in January. As a result, the foreclosure process has evolved a good deal over the last 12 months or so.

Chris Reidy can be reached at