Updated September 3 at 4:03pm

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Foreclosure starts fall in Providence metro in January

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PROVIDENCE – January Foreclosure starts in the Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area dropped 22 percent and completed foreclosures plunged 61 percent compared with the same period last year, RealtyTrac said Thursday.

The California-based real estate tracking firm said lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings on 208 metro-area properties in January compared with 268 in January 2012.

Completed repossessions dropped to 111 last month from 286 last January.

The declines were most significant in Bristol County, Mass., where foreclosure starts fell 34 percent and completed repossessions dropped 85 percent. There were only 17 Bristol County repossessions reported last month compared with 116 in January 2012.

Bristol County followed the rest of Massachusetts, where total statewide foreclosure filings, including both starts and repossessions, dropped 67 percent year over year.

In Rhode Island, the 166 January foreclosure starts represented a 19 percent drop from last January, when there were 204.

Completed Rhode Island foreclosures fell 45 percent, from 170 last January to 94 last month.

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