BOSTON – Bristol County, Mass., foreclosure starts plunged 82.5 percent in April compared with the same period last year, The Warren Group said Wednesday.
Lenders filed 28 new petitions to begin foreclosure proceedings in April, the Boston-based real-estate tracking firm reported, down from 160 petitions in April 2012.
The number of completed foreclosures in Bristol County also fell dramatically, 62.3 percent, compared with last April. There were 29 completed foreclosures in the county during April compared with 77 in April 2012.
Year to date, from January 1 to April 30, the number of foreclosure starts fell 58.5 percent year over year to 258. The number of foreclosure completions fell 72.4 percent during that same four-month period to 110 from 398 in 2012.
The steep reduction in foreclosures in Bristol County were part of a statewide trend. In Massachusetts, April foreclosure starts dropped 78.9 percent year over year, from 1,750 to 370.
The 234 completed Massachusetts foreclosures in April represented a 68.8 percent decline from the 750 foreclosures in March 2012.
Year over year for the first four months of 2012, statewide foreclosure starts dropped 59.8 percent to 2,450 from 6,098. During the same period, the number of completed foreclosures in the Bay State fell 69.1 percent to 995 from 3,215.
“We’re seeing foreclosure starts consistently under the 1,000 mark for six straight months and fewer than 500 for two straight months. The real estate market has improved dramatically in 2013 with median prices up 11 percent and this has slowed foreclosures,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in prepared remarks.
“Another factor in the decline was recently reported by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. MHP found that a 2012 state law that requires banks to notify borrowers of their rights to pursue a loan modification before foreclosing is contributing to this precipitous drop,” said Warren, adding: “The real question is whether foreclosure activity will pick back up once lenders have modified their procedures to comply with the new law.”