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Drop in Massachusetts foreclosure activity suggests promise

The Massachusetts housing market has suffered from an overabundance of foreclosures over the last several years. Recently, however, new data suggest that the state's real estate crisis may be beginning to lift. As a follow-up to our recent post about Massachusetts foreclosures, new numbers from the Warren Group indicate that foreclosures in the state are decreasing.

According to the Warren Group, foreclosures across Massachusetts dropped 63 percent in January 2013 when compared to numbers from January 2012. Additionally, scrutiny over financial lending practices utilized during 2012 may have caused variable information reported from that year which contributed to inaccurate reflections of the national real estate market. The new data is in effect a more accurate depiction of the current real estate market's condition.

While such numbers suggest improvement in the state's real estate market, the real estate and foreclosure conditions across the nation also appear to be following the Massachusetts trend. An economist from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston notes that while real estate market numbers are improving, growth will not be fast.

Although the new data for the Massachusetts real estate market is positive for some homeowners, others may still be suffering from the economic downturn of the last several years. For homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages, there are options for avoiding the foreclosure process.

The federal government offers foreclosure prevention counseling through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, individual lenders make work directly with mortgage holders to renegotiate the terms of their loans in order to make the payment process more feasible. Homeowners may also seek assistance from the federal government through refinancing or loan modification, or may file for bankruptcy as possible alternatives to selling or otherwise losing their homes.

Homeowners facing or hoping to avoid foreclosure may benefit from consulting with a Massachusetts real estate legal professional. Lawyers in the field of real estate and foreclosure law are trained to assist their clients in assessing their legal rights and obligations in order to prepare a successful plan for moving past foreclosure.

Source: The Boston Globe, "State sees 63 percent fall in foreclosure activity," Jenifer B. McKim, March 6, 2013

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