Foreclosure filings in Massachusetts continued to escalate at a record-setting pace, reaching a new high water-mark in January. According to a report released today by ForeclosuresMass.com, 2,207 foreclosures were initiated statewide during January 2007, more than double the number recorded in January 2006. Lenders have initiated foreclosure proceedings against 20,618 homeowners over the past 12 months, representing a 77 percent increase over the same period a year earlier, the report said. â€œThe flood of foreclosures in Massachusetts is not only continuing, it has reached a new high. 2006 was a record-breaking year, and our latest data indicates that 2007 may be even worse,â€? said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com. â€œThe fact that we are starting the year with the highest number of foreclosure filings we've ever recorded for a single month is more than significant â€“ it's ominous.â€? Shapiro, much as he has in previous months, attributes the increase to a â€œperfect stormâ€? of factors. The pressures put on property owners include rising interest rates over the past few years, an increase in sub-prime and other â€˜exotic' loans, the affect 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. January 2007 had more foreclosure filings than any single month since ForeclosuresMass.com began collecting data, Shapiro noted. Bristol, Barnstable and Worcester Counties experienced the largest increases. Bristol County saw a 93.74 percent increase in foreclosures (1,982 v. 1,023), Barnstable County levels were 93.68 percent higher (980 v. 506) and Worcester County registered an 87.33 percent increase (3,194 v. 1,705). Every County except Nantucket saw substantial increases, according the report. For more information, visit http://www.foreclosuresmass.com.