ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Foreclosure starts soar in Bristol County

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/JOSHUA LOTT
FORECLOSURE starts in Bristol County, Mass., increased 132 percent in February, according to real estate data firm The Warren Group.
Posted 3/21/12

BOSTON – Foreclosure starts in Bristol County, Mass. more than doubled in February compared with the same period last year, The Warren Group said Wednesday.

The 158 foreclosure petitions filed in February - compared with 68 in February 2011 - represented a 132 percent year-over-year increase, the real estate data firm reported.

The Bristol County numbers tracked the rest of the Bay State as foreclosure petitions throughout Massachusetts increased by 101 percent compared with last February.

The sizable year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts is attributable to the unusual slowdown of foreclosure activity last year caused by a lawsuit against lenders over foreclosure practices and the introduction of a 150-day “right to cure” law, The Warren Group said.

Statewide foreclosure volume in February was below the pace of February 2009 and 2010.

“The large year-over-year increase doesn't necessarily indicate another wave of foreclosures,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “Foreclosure activity was nearly frozen a year ago and now they're beginning to thaw again.”

While the number of properties beginning the foreclosure process surged, those finishing the process with a filed foreclosure deed declined 52 percent in Bristol County for February compared with last year.

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