By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE â€“ Lenders initiated 32 percent fewer foreclosure filings in the Providence-Fall Riverâ€“New Bedford area in May than they did during the same period 2011, RealtyTrac said Thursday.
May was the fourth consecutive month that foreclosure filings â€“ including default notices, auctions and repossessions â€“ dropped year-over-year in the Providence area, according to the Irvine-Calif.-based real estate data firm.
There were 564 total filings in the area in May, down from 835 in May 2011.
As has been the case so far this year, the filing declines were led by Rhode Island, where year-over-year filings dropped 38 percent.
In Massachusetts, where foreclosures had been picking up in recent months, filings increased 2 percent in May. Year-over-year Bristol County, Mass. filings dropped 21 percent.
Nationally, May foreclosure filings dropped 4 percent from May 2011 as the foreclosure surge many had feared in the wake of a settlement between lenders and the government over foreclosure abuses has yet to occur.
RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore said banksâ€™ willingness to accept short sales and other pre-foreclosures transactions of distressed properties appears to be limiting repossessions.
â€śMore banks are now recognizing that treating the problem of delinquent mortgages with short sales rather than bank repossessions can help them minimize their losses and also avoid taking on more REOs, which they then have to manage, maintain and market for sale,â€ť Moore said.