Published in the November 5, 2015 edition.

BOSTON – Lenders filed 1,179 foreclosure petitions in Massachusetts in September, a 60.6 percent increase compared with the 734 filed in September 2014, according to a new report from The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

In Wakefield, foreclosure petitions were up a staggering 133 percent from September 2014.

It was the 19th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in petition filings across the state. Year to date there have been 8,498 petitions filed by lenders, a 56.8 percent increase over the 5,419 petitions filed through September last year. There have been more foreclosure petitions filed through nine months in 2015 than there were through the entire year of 2014, when there were 7,588 total. Petitions to foreclose filed in the Land Court is the first notice in the public record of a lender’s intention to pursue foreclosure.

“The dramatic percentage increases in the number of foreclosure starts this year is the result of lenders first closing the spigot on the number of delinquent mortgages entering the foreclosure pipeline in March of 2013 and then opening it back up again in March of 2014. This was done in response to state and federal programs to slow or prevent foreclosures, plus some court cases that questioned the procedures that lenders were using in pursuing their rights to foreclose. The great majority of loans undergoing foreclosure were originated five or more years ago. We are not seeing a new wave of homeowners unable to pay their mortgage debt,” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group.

In September 2015, according to Banker & Tradesman, seven foreclosure petitions were started on those who own homes in Wakefield, compared to three in September 2014. So far this year, there have been 16 foreclosure petitions filed, compared to nine through this time last year.

Statewide there were 551 foreclosure deeds filed in September, a 9.3 percent increase over the September 2014 mark of 504. Year to date there have been 4,870 foreclosure deeds filed in Massachusetts, a 28.0 percent increase from 2014, when there were 3,806 deeds filed through the same period. Deeds represent completed foreclosures, when lenders exercise their powers to foreclose on delinquent mortgages and place the title of the property in the name of new owners.

In Wakefield, there have been six deeds filed through September 2015, the same number as 2014.

There were 360 foreclosure auction notices filed in September, a 22.5 percent increase over the 294 filed in September 2014. There have been 3,159 auctions filed year to date, a 24.5 percent increase over the 2,538 filed through September last year. An auction notice is a legally required advertisement in a local newspaper that a property will be auctioned to the highest bidder at a specific time and location.