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By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
By Kaylen Auer
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – A total of 451 single-family and multifamily homes in Rhode Island were foreclosed upon during the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 19.9 percent over the 376 foreclosures reported for the same period last year, affordable homes coalition HousingWorks RI reported Thursday.
The state average for the percentage of mortgaged stock attributable to foreclosures was 0.24 percent in the first three months of the year.
Nine municipalities reported rates higher than the Rhode Island average, including Providence (0.62 percent) excluding the East Side, Woonsocket (0.59 percent), Pawtucket (0.47 percent), West Warwick (0.4 percent), Johnston (0.37 percent), Cranston (0.35 percent), Warwick (0.33 percent), Burrillville (0.32 percent) and Warren (0.25 percent).
Barrington (0.3 percent), Cumberland (0.3 percent) and Middletown (0.4 percent) had the lowest foreclosure rates in the state. Six communities – Central Falls, Charlestown, New Shoreham, Little Compton, Jamestown and Smithfield – reported no foreclosures for the first quarter.
Overall, 10 Rhode Island cities and towns saw foreclosures decline last year, while 22 municipalities saw foreclosures increase and eight saw no change.
Providence excluding the East Side saw the highest number of foreclosures in the first quarter, with 81 foreclosure deeds filed during the period, followed by Warwick with 62 foreclosures, Cranston with 50 foreclosures and Pawtucket with 43 foreclosures.
“It is troubling to see the uptick in residential foreclosure deeds filed statewide,” said Jessica Cigna, research and policy director of HousingWorks RI. “We know that many mortgaged homeowners are still struggling with high housing cost burdens, and unfortunately, some programs previously available to help these homeowners are expiring.”
One such program, the federally funded Home Affordable Modification Program, was established in 2009 to help homeowners modify their mortgage loan terms. The five-year term on many such modifications will expire in 2014, causing an increase in monthly mortgage costs for some homeowners.
A January report released by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program showed that 90 percent of the 4,258 Rhode Island homeowners with active HAMP modifications will see mortgage interest rates and payments increase, HousingWorks said.
The HousingWorks RI quarterly report on foreclosures is funded through a grant from the R.I. Attorney General’s office as part of the National Mortgage Settlement, as well as support from Rhode Island Housing.
To view the complete report, visit www.housingworksri.org.