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January had double digit increase in Massachusetts foreclosures

Massachusetts foreclosure activity on residential homes saw a double digit increase in January as lenders started ramping up their activity again. Due to the numerous problems with the foreclosure process last year, including the "robo-signing" of documents and the mounting questions over who actually held the mortgages, banks slowed down the number of foreclosures it initiated in order to review their foreclosure processes.

Recent figures reported by the Warren Group, a Boston real estate tracking firm, shows banks have picked up where they left off in initiating residential home foreclosures. Petitions in Massachusetts increased from 793 in January 2011 to 1,333 in January 2012, which is a 68 percent increase. A petition is the first step in the foreclosure process.

Also in the Bay State, there was a 32 percent increase from December 2011 petitions compared to January 2012 figures. There was a 25 percent increase in foreclosure deeds, which is considered the completion of the foreclosure process. There were 662 foreclosure deeds filed in January of this year compared to 529 deeds recorded in January of 2011, the lowest numbers of deeds filed since may of last year, which had 571 deeds filed.

The report also tracked an increase in home auction announcements which showed a 31 percent increase from January 2011 (1,150) to January 2012 (1,512). The purchase of a home through an auction can be a good way to find a home for less than its current market value, however as reported in the previous post, it's important to do your homework to know what you can afford and ensure you get a good price on a foreclosure or short-sale the property.

Whether you are facing a possible foreclosure or want to investigate the purchase of a home through an auction or short-sale, the guidance of an experienced residential real estate attorney can be invaluable in helping you understand the process and ensure all options are considered for your specific situation.

Source: Boston Business Journal, "Bay State foreclosures soar in January," Thomas Grillo, Mar. 1, 2012-03-20

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