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RISMEDIA, July 22, 2010—The number of foreclosures started by lenders in Massachusetts during the month of June decreased from a year earlier, the second straight month that petitions to foreclose have declined, according to a new report by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

Lenders filed 2,220 petitions to foreclose—which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in Massachusetts—in June, a 21.7% drop from 2,835 a year earlier. June’s foreclosure petitions were up 5.2% from 2,110 in May. Foreclosure petitions have exceeded 2,000 since February. A total of 13,338 foreclosure petitions have been filed so far this year statewide, down 3.4% from 13,813 during the same period in 2009.

“The foreclosure picture in Massachusetts hasn’t really improved that much. The level of foreclosure starts for the first half of the year is only slightly lower than a year ago. We have been averaging just over 2,200 foreclosure petitions a month this year compared to about 2,300 a month last year,” said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr.

Even though the number of foreclosures initiated in June declined, the number of completed foreclosures more than doubled from a year earlier. A total of 1,313 foreclosure deeds were recorded, a 109.1% jump from 628 in June 2009. Foreclosure deeds also climbed 1.4% from May’s 1,294 foreclosures. This is the fifth month this year that foreclosure deeds surpassed 1,000. Foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, surged in every county in the Bay State in June—except Nantucket County. Year-to-date foreclosure deeds rose 56.7% to 7,431 from 4,742 a year earlier.

“Foreclosures which were initiated a year ago are now being completed, and the figures are staggering. We are on pace to exceed the peak foreclosure level seen in 2008 when more than 12,000 homeowners statewide lost their homes to foreclosure,” Warren said

The number of auction announcements tracked by The Warren Group also rose in June. Auction announcements shot up 64.8% to 2,558 compared to 1,552 in June 2009. A total of 16,531 auction notices were tracked by The Warren Group this year, up 124% from 7,380 a year earlier.

For more information, visit www.thewarrengroup.com.

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