Updated March 30 at 6:25am

Foreclosure initiations surge 31% in Bristol County, Mass.


BOSTON – Lenders in Bristol County, Mass. initiated 31 percent more foreclosures in April than they did during the same period in 2011, The Warren Group said Tuesday.

There were 160 foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, filed in Bristol County in April, up from 122 in April 2011, according to the real estate tracking firm.

The surge in foreclosure initiations follows a statewide pattern in Massachusetts, where April year-over-year foreclosure petitions jumped 47 percent compared with April 2011.

"Foreclosure activity was so low last year that we're inevitably seeing a rise in foreclosures across the state," said Cory S. Hopkins, editorial director of The Warren Group.

"It's necessary for a wave of foreclosures to work through the system this year, but it shouldn't cause panic,” said Hopkins. “In order to return to a healthier market, the backlog of distressed properties needs to be cleared from banks' books."

While new foreclosures in Bristol County rose, the number of foreclosure auctions in April declined 7 percent and completed foreclosures dropped 20 percent year over year.


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