Updated March 29 at 12:29am

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Bristol Co., Mass., foreclosure starts drop significantly in March

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BOSTON – Bristol County, Mass., foreclosure starts plunged 78 percent in March compared with the same period last year, The Warren Group said Monday.

Lenders filed 37 new petitions to begin foreclosure proceedings in March, the Boston-based real-estate tracking firm reported, down from 172 petitions in March 2012.

The number of completed foreclosures in Bristol County also fell dramatically, 71 percent, compared with last March. There were 25 completed foreclosures in the county during March compared with 85 in March 2012.

The steep reduction in foreclosures in Bristol County were part of a statewide trend.

In Massachusetts, March foreclosure starts dropped 82 percent year over year, from 1,621 to 284.

The 227 completed Massachusetts foreclosures in March represented a 74 percent decline from the 899 foreclosures in March 2012.

“Overall, we're seeing foreclosures drop all over the country, but Massachusetts is exceptional in its reduction,” said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “Foreclosure prevention efforts combined with a booming real estate market are leading to fewer foreclosures.”

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