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Foreclosures numbers slide in Massachusetts again

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By : John Smith    99 or more times read
Statistics concerning the state of foreclosures in Massachusetts released by Boston-based real estate information provider Warren Group reveal that mortgage foreclosures are up again in Pioneer Valley.

That’s depressing news for distressed Valley households, who have been hanging on for a return to the surface for far too many months.

Foreclosure Deeds filings (that’s the final stage in the foreclosure process) jumped over 24% on average in Hamden County during the first quarter of 2010 – to be precise to 294 compared to 237 the same time last year. During March this year alone the increase was from 88 to 115, a worrying 30% year on year.

Hampshire County was even worse off. Quarter on quarter the increase was from 22 to 50 (127%) while March on March was slightly better at 11% (9 to 19). However the real pain was felt in Franklin County, where foreclosure deeds lodged in the first quarter of 2010 were up from 11 last year to 43, or 290%. During March the increase was 240%, or 5 to 27.

Some of these may be small numbers, but the overall trend is worrying, none the less.

For the State of Massachusetts as a whole, foreclosure deeds for the first quarter of 2010 were up year on year from 2,766 to 3,447 – that’s 24.6%. Once again things were worse when the two Marches are compared. That time the jump was over 45% (957 to 1,389).

The State’s mortgage petition rate is hardly reason for cheer either. There were 2,381 petitions filed in March 2010, which Warren Group advises is the highest number recorded for the past eight months. In other words, both the front and back ends of the foreclosure processes are rising comparatively and absolutely.

To put things in perspective, Warren Group are using the early months of 2010 as the base for their comparisons. During this period many lenders slowed down their foreclosure rates while they waited for HAMP to be unveiled. Does this mean the comparison is odious, or maybe just a little understated.

“Certainly our numbers have not diminished at all in terms of mortgage intervention,” said Charles H. Rucks, executive director of Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services Inc. “We see there are more issues with employment than with the structure of the mortgage itself.”

The objective is to get a distressed borrowers into mortgages that cost no more than 31 percent of their gross income, he continued. The hold-up is with the lenders, who have been slow to approve deals, thereby leaving households seeking relief in suspended animation for months. There have been some success stories – it’s the wait that is frustrating everybody.

Will property prices in Massachusetts slide further?
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