In Massachusetts, a Temporary Lull in Foreclosures
A new law in Massachusetts helped push foreclosure filings to a near-record low in May, with the state recording just 392 filings during the month according to state-wide data service ForeclosuresMass.com. Last month's filings dropped nearly 89 percent from April's record 3,414 filings, the company said; but the drop is likely only temporary. Driving the steep decline in foreclosure activity within the state is a mandated extension before lenders can take foreclosure action in Land Court, which went into effect in May. In November of last year, the Massachusetts governor Patrick Deval signed into law a 90-day "right To cure" after default on mortgage loans for 1-4 family, owner-occupied residential properties. Previously the "right To cure" period was 30 days; under the new law, lenders must wait an additional 60 days before foreclosure proceedings can begin in Land Court against homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages. "We are in the midst of a foreclosure tsunami here in Massachusetts, and this storm is not going away any time soon," said Sheila Farragher-Gemma, co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com. "The new filing requirements have created a situation similar to the eye of a hurricane -- it may seem calm now, but the storm will come raging back with even more force in the days ahead." Farragher-Gemma said that "nothing has changed in the Massachusetts real estate market," and that the extension likely won't do much beyond extend the inevitable for most troubled homeowners. Lenders have initiated 32,018 foreclosures within the state during the past twelve months, a year over year increase of 35 percent. For more information, visit http://www.foreclosuresmass.com.