Bristol Co., Mass., foreclosures rise 89%

BOSTON – The number of foreclosures in Massachusetts more than doubled in May compared with the same month last year, and increased 89 percent in Bristol County, The Warren Group said Wednesday.

The real-estate tracking firm said lenders filed 1,283 foreclosure deeds in Massachusetts in May, up from 584 a year earlier. In Bristol County, the number of deeds rose to 121 from 64.

Statewide, the number of foreclosure petitions – the first step in the foreclosure process – fell 9.4 percent to 2,110 from 2,329. Auction notices more than doubled to 2,858, up from 1,378.

Bristol County followed the same trend, with petitions falling 7.4 percent to 188 from 203. Auction notices increased 141 percent to 1,591, up from 660.

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“A year ago, we were seeing the opposite trend in Massachusetts,” Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “Foreclosure petitions were increasing as unemployment grew, but foreclosure deeds were declining because a state law that went into effect in 2008 delayed foreclosure proceedings. We’re now seeing the foreclosures that were started a year earlier being completed now.”

As of the end of May, the number of filed foreclosure deeds totaled 6,107 in the Bay State, a 48 percent increase compared with the same period last year, The Warren Group said.

The Warren Group Inc. is a provider of New England real estate data and the publisher of Banker & Tradesman and other journals. Additional information is available at TheWarrenGroup.com.