Massachusetts' slumping housing market appears to be affecting the mortgage industry and homeowners, according to a report released today. Almost 70 percent more lenders started the foreclosure process against Bay State homeowners in 2006 than in 2005, and 46 percent more homes were advertised to be auctioned, according to data compiled by The Warren Group.
Mortgage lenders filed 18,926 petitions to foreclose in Massachusetts Land Court last year, compared with 11,155 in 2005, and lenders announced 6,729 foreclosure auctions in 2006, compared with 4,620 in 2005.
Petitions to foreclose are the first step in the foreclosure process, and do not always end in actual foreclosure. Some homeowners eventually sell their homes or refinance.