Foreclosure’s Surge, Becoming a Full-Blown Crisis

So I’ve been writing about foreclosure’s in Massachusetts for a while now, and to be honest, it’s making me a little depressed. Yesterday, the Boston Globe published yet another article on the foreclosure crisis, here’s a condensed version compiled from excerpts from the original article.

Home Loss Surging in Mass. (Rate of foreclosure jumps as lenders get used to process.)

The number of homeowners who lost their properties to foreclosure in April swelled to 1,372, almost 80 percent more than during the same month last year, according to data released yesterday by Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks local real estate.

The number of foreclosure petitions — the first step in the process of a lender taking back a property — jumped to 2,431 in April, a 20.8 percent increase over April 2009, Warren Group said.

Indeed, the first four months of 2010 found more homeowners in deep financial trouble than last year. Petitions through April increased to 9,008, 4.2 percent higher than in 2009. Foreclosure deeds, filed when a homeowner officially loses title to a property, were up 36.6 percent during the first four months of the year compared with the same period last year, according to Warren Group.

The data did not surprise housing advocates, who say they are seeing more homeowners struggling to pay mortgages because they have been out of work or have fallen victim to predatory lending practices. And despite the urging of everyone from individual homeowners to President Obama, they add, lenders are still not doing enough to help solve the problem.

Paul Collier, a Cambridge lawyer who works with clients fighting foreclosure, said federal efforts to push lenders to help distressed homeown ers are voluntary and have been largely unsuccessful.

Vincent Valvo, group publisher of Warren Group, said the surge in April deeds was partly because lenders have become more comfortable navigating the maze of foreclosure-related government regulations and programs. Many have also ended voluntary moratoriums on foreclosures, he said.

“They are moving forward,’’ Valvo said.

For the full Globe article, click here.

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