Mass. Foreclosure Activity Increased Again In May

Massachusetts foreclosure activity continued its year-over-year rise in May, "as banks continue to resume activity following a mortgage abuse settlement reached earlier this year," according to real estate tracking firm The Warren Group.

The group reported Thursday that the number of foreclosure petitions statewide more than doubled in May, rising to 1,724 from 699 in May 2011.

As we've reported before, with the settlement reached lenders are now working through a backlog of paperwork problems, which led to fewer foreclosures last year.

"In order to return to a healthier market, we need these distressed properties to get cleared from banks' books," Cory Hopkins, the group's editorial director, said in a release. "The increased activity also leads to opportunity for buyers."

The number of completed foreclosures also rose — by 32 percent — last month, from 571 in May 2011 to 755 in May 2012.

The number of advertised foreclosure auctions, however, dropped in May by 27 percent, compared to the same month last year.

For Hopkins, that's good news.

"[Homeowners are] either having their loans modified, [or] accepting more short-sale offers, so I think that is another encouraging sign," he told our Newscast unit.

Update at 1:45 p.m.: As State House News Service reports, a conference committee has been named to produce a consensus anti-foreclosure bill:

That bill will likely include provisions to encourage loan modifications and negotiators will need to decide whether to also include measures aimed at forcing mediation proceedings.

This program aired on June 21, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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