Foreclosure Filings Hit Record High in MA

ForeclosuresMass.com, a provider of Massachusetts foreclosure data for investors, real estate professionals and mortgage brokers, released its March Massachusetts Market Analysis Report recently, with data revealing that foreclosure filings continue to escalate at a record-setting pace and reached a new high in February.

The report shows that 2,227 foreclosures were initiated statewide during February, 85% more than the number recorded in February 2006. Over the past 12 months, lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against 21,644 homeowners, representing an 82% increase over the same period a year earlier.

"While lawmakers at the federal and state level are looking into ways to protect homeowners, the fact is that foreclosure filings have and will continue at astronomical levels well into 2007," said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com.

"ForeclosuresMass.com has been calling attention to this issue for years and while we applaud steps to protect homeowners, it is evident that there is no quick fix."

ForeclosuresMass.com attributes the foreclosure increase to a "perfect storm" of factors. The pressures put on property owners include rising interest rates over the past few years, an increase in subprime and other "exotic" loans, the effect of adjustable-rate mortgages, rising home heating costs, substantially increased gasoline prices and the slumping Massachusetts housing market, which leaves homeowners trapped in houses they cannot afford.

Highlights of the ForeclosuresMass.com March 2007 report include foreclosures nearly doubled in 2007 compared to February 2006 and the increase statewide was 85.43%. On average, there were 111 foreclosure filings every business day in February.

February set a record high for the second consecutive month and marked the fifth consecutive month with over 2,000 foreclosure filings.

Foreclosures increased 81.97% statewide when comparing the past 12 months to the same period a year earlier, 21,644 vs. 11,894.

Barnstable, Worcester and Bristol counties experienced the largest increases. Barnstable County experienced a 95.45% increase, 1,030 vs. 527; Worcester County had a 93.60% increase, 3,390 vs. 1,751; and Bristol County jumped by 92.33%, 2,031 vs. 1,056. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com