A new report shows that foreclosure filings in Massachusetts continue to escalate at a record-setting pace, reaching a new high in February. According to ForeclosuresMass.com, 2,227 foreclosures were initiated statewide during February 2007, 85 percent more than the number recorded in February 2006. Over the past 12 months, lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against 21,644 homeowners, representing an 82 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. â€œWhile lawmakers at the federal and state level are looking into ways to protect homeowners, the fact is that foreclosure filings have â€“ and will â€“ continue at astronomical levels well into 2007,â€? said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com.
Both Federal and state regulators are taking notice of the foreclosure problem. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing held hearings on bills relating to foreclosures, and numerous state officials spoke out on the issue. Today, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, will appear before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, where he is expected to be questioned heavily on subprime lending and foreclosures. Barnstable, Worcester and Bristol Counties experienced the largest increases in foreclosure activity. Barnstable County experienced a 95 percent increase, while Worcester County had a 94 percent increase and Bristol County jumped by 92 percent. Every County except Nantucket saw substantial increases, the report said. For more information, visit http://www.foreclosuresmass.com.