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Massachusetts Foreclosures Skyrocket, Tewksbury Numbers Remain Steady

Sep 05, 2015 09:41AM ● By Bill Gilman


Foreclosure petitions in the Bay State rose in July, increasing 49 percent compared with July 2014, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman. This marks the 17th consecutive month of increases in petition filings.

"Foreclosures continue to climb after a few years of very low activity as lenders catch up with regulatory changes," said Cassidy Murphy, editorial director at The Warren Group. "While these numbers are higher relative to last year, the steady increase does not yet represent a cause for alarm."

Lenders filed 1,044 petitions to foreclose in July this year, compared with 702 filed in July 2014. There have been 6,360 petitions filed year to date in Massachusetts, a 60 percent increase from last year's mark through July. Petitions note the first step in the foreclosure process, when banks petition the state courts for the right to foreclose.

Statewide, 386 foreclosure deeds were filed in July, a 77 percent increase from the 218 filed in July last year. There have been a total of 2,416 deeds filed in Massachusetts in 2015, a 27 percent increase from the 1,897 filed through July 2014. Deeds represent completed foreclosures, when banks inform the registry of deeds that there has been a change in the ownership of the foreclosed property.

In Tewksbury, the numbers were somewhat more encouraging. There were just three foreclosure petitions filed on Tewksbury homes in July 2015, the same number as in July 2014. So far this year, through July 31, just 19 foreclosure petitions have been filed. That's down 13.6 percent over the same time period in 2014.

Two foreclosure auctions took place in Tewksbury in July, bringing the year-to-date total to 12. That's up 20 percent over the same time period in 2014. Foreclosure deed transfers are also up 20 percent.

The Warren Group tracked 574 auction announcements last month, a 1.5 percent decrease from the 584 filed in July 2014. There have been 3,761 auctions in Massachusetts year to date, a 35 percent increase from the same stretch in 2014 when there were 2,789. An auction is a bank's declaration that efforts to repair the loan with the borrower have failed, and the property will go up for auction.

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