Updated April 27 at 11:30am

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Foreclosure filings drop in Providence area

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PROVIDENCE – Foreclosure filings in the Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area fell 26 percent in March and 14 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same periods in 2011, RealtyTrac said Thursday.

During March, the Irvine, Calif.-based real estate data group reported 574 foreclosure filings – which include notices of defaults, auctions and repossessions – compared with 772 total filings in March of 2011.

In the first three months of 2012, there were 1,673 foreclosure filings in the area compared with 1,947 filings in the first three months of 2011.

The decline in foreclosure activity in the Providence area, which includes Bristol County, Mass. and all of Rhode Island except Newport County, tracked a 16 percent national decline in foreclosure filings.

When the nation’s five largest lenders settled a lawsuit over foreclosure abuses at the beginning of February, most experts expected a short term rise in foreclosure activity that has not happened yet.

“The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore.

“The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen — both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short sale activity,” he added.

Unlike February, when foreclosure filings in Bristol County, Mass rose while Rhode Island filings fell, in March Bristol County year-over-year filings fell 6 percent while Rhode Island filings fell 34 percent compared with last year.

For the full report, visit realtytrac.com.

Realtytrac, foreclosures, Rhode Island, Providence, New Bedford, Fall River, Foreclosure Filings

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