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Mass. foreclosure starts rise 49 percent in July

The number of foreclosure filings in Massachusetts rose 49 percent from July 2014 to July 2015 as lenders continue to clear a foreclosure backlog caused by regulatory changes, according to a Boston real estate tracker.

The Warren Group said Wednesday that lenders filed foreclosure documents on 1,044 homes in Massachusetts in July, compared to 702 filed the same month in 2014. The increase was in line with those recorded in previous months; in the first seven months of the year, initial foreclosure filings rose 60 percent over the total recorded during the same period last year.

“While these numbers are higher relative to last year, the steady increase does not yet represent a cause for alarm,” said Cassidy Murphy, the editorial director of the Warren Group, which publishes trade journals like Banker & Tradesman.

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Not all foreclosure starts result in homeowners losing their homes, but the number of completed foreclosures has also risen. The 386 completed foreclosures recorded in July was a 77 percent increase over July 2014’s total of 218. Year-to-date, the number of completed foreclosures in Massachusetts has risen 27 percent, hitting 2,416, according to the Warren Group.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.