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By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Foreclosure filings in the Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area plunged 30 percent in July compared with the same period in 2011 and new foreclosure starts fell 26 percent, RealtyTrac said Thursday.
July was the fifth consecutive month total filings - which include default notices, foreclosure auctions and repossessions – declined in the Providence area and seventh consecutive month they fell in Rhode Island, according to the California-based real estate tracking firm.
There were 543 total foreclosure filings in the metro area in July, down from 780 in June 2011. Foreclosure starts dropped to 275 in June from 348 last July.
As it they have all year, declines in foreclosure filings were led by Rhode Island, where total filings fell 46 percent and foreclosure starts were cut in half, from 249 last July to 124 last month. Rhode Island repossessions dropped from 215 in June 2011 to 125 last month.
In Bristol Count, Mass., total filings dropped 7 percent while foreclosure starts rose 53 percent, from 99 last July to 151 last month.
In Massachusetts, lenders continue to accelerate the foreclosures after freezing the process in the wake of lawsuits over foreclosure abuses.
The Bay State saw total filings rise 19 percent in July compared with the same period in 2011 and foreclosure starts climb 65 percent year over year in July.
Nationally foreclosure starts also crept up 6 percent in July compared with last June even as total year-over-year filings fell 10 percent.
“U.S. foreclosure activity continued its uneven descent in July as the overall numbers declined on an annual basis for the 22nd straight month, but properties starting the foreclosure process increased on an annual basis for the third straight month,” Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “Recent foreclosure activity patterns vary significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state’s foreclosure process.”