BOSTON — Massachusetts foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, dropped last month to their lowest level of the year, The Warren Group reported Monday.
Year-over-year petitions were down 17 percent to 1,198, compared to 1,441 petitions filed in July 2011.
“It appears there is a downward trend in foreclosure activity,” The Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren said in a statement. “A strong economy and recovering housing market is helping lift consumer confidence. This news, paired with banks’ return to standard foreclosure processes is also helping.”
Foreclosures are still up 55 percent from a year ago. Numbers dropped in 2011 as lenders’ practices came under scrutiny, and the process has picked back up this year following a mortgage abuse settlement.