Updated August 28 at 4:28pm

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Foreclosure starts drop in Bristol Co., Mass., in Dec., rise for year

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BOSTON – Bristol County, Mass., foreclosure starts dropped 11 percent in December while finished foreclosures dropped 28.3 percent compared with the same period in 2011, The Warren Group said Monday.

The real estate tracking firm reported 81 Bristol County foreclosure petitions (the first step in the foreclosure process) filed in December, down from 91 in December 2011.

The number of foreclosure deeds filed in December, marking completed repossessions by lenders, dropped to 33 compared with 46 deeds filed in December 2011.

Statewide, Massachusetts foreclosure starts dropped 17.3 percent year over year while finished foreclosures plummeted 65 percent in December.

For 2012 as a whole, Bristol County saw its foreclosure starts increase by 40.1 percent to 1,778 over the year from 1,269 during 2011. Although foreclosure starts rose 40 percent, completed foreclosures rose only 4.05 percent during the year.

Statewide during 2012, Massachusetts saw foreclosure starts rise 35.8 percent, but foreclosure completions drop 13 percent compared with 2011 figures.

“Foreclosure activity nationwide is declining, and Massachusetts is following the same path. Deeds were down for the year, petitions declined for the past two months, and I think that will continue,” Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said in a statement.

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