Foreclosure filings in the state of Massachusetts reached an all-time high during 2006, with 19,487 foreclosures initiated during the year. The annual total for 2006 eclipses the previous record high of 17,000, set in 1991 during that state’s last major housing slump, according to a report released today by ForeclosuresMass.com. Foreclosures increased statewide by nearly 70 percent compared to 2005, and have more than doubled since 2004. 11,493 foreclosures were filed during 2005, and 8,689 were filed in 2004. â€œ2006 was a terrible year for thousands of Massachusetts homeowners. More families faced foreclosure than any other time in our history,â€? said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com.
â€œAdditionally, what is even more troubling is that foreclosure filings in the 4th quarter of 2006 were more than double the 4th quarter of last year, and were the highest of any previous quarter on record. All indications are that this trend will not abate, which means trouble for tens of thousands of additional homeowners in 2007.â€? Fourth quarter foreclosure statistics for the Bay State would suggest that the trouble will continue in 2007, with fourth quarter filings up more than 100 percent in 2006 versus 2005. ForeclosuresMass.com said more foreclosures were filed in the the fourth quarter of 2006 than any previous quarter since the company began tracking data in 2003. Barnstable, Bristol and Suffolk Counties experienced the largest increases in foreclosures. Barnstable County saw a 91.39 percent increase (934 in 2006; 488 in 2005), Bristol County levels were 86.71 percent higher (1,869 in 2006; 1,001 in 2005) and Suffolk County posted an 80.22 percent increase (2,087 in 2006; 1,158 in 2005). In communities with 50 or more foreclosure filings in 2006, the biggest increases were in the town of Dartmouth (260 percent increase), Westport (247 pecent increase), Everett (160 percent increase), Bourne (147 percent increase), and Lowell (146 percent increase). For more information, visit http://www.foreclosuresmass.com.