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Mass. foreclosure starts and completions rise in May

Foreclosure starts rose in Massachusetts for the 15 straight month in May, according to a real estate tracking company.

The number of filings to initiate foreclosures rose to 878 from 573 in May 2014, an increase of 53 percent, the Warren Group said. Completed foreclosures also rose compared to last year, with lenders foreclosing on 344 properties, an 82 percent jump over the 189 foreclosures completed in May 2014.

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Not all foreclosure starts result in homeowners losing their properties. Sometimes, a home is sold before the foreclosure process can be completed. Other times, the homeowner and lender will reach agreement on new payment plans that halt the process.

“It is frustrating to see the continued rise in foreclosure activity across the Bay State,” said Cassidy Murphy, editorial director of The Warren Group, in a news release. “Lenders continue to wade through a large volume of delinquent mortgages that have been in the process for quite some time.”

Foreclosure starts are up significantly in the first five months of 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to Warren Group. From January to May, lenders initiated 4,430 foreclosures in Massachusetts homes, a 60 percent increase from 2,776 recorded in the first five months of last year. The number of completed foreclosures rose 18 percent, from 1,374 to 1,623.

Both initiated and completed foreclosures are well below the peak that followed the last recession. Foreclosure starts from January to May 2010 surpassed 11,000 and the number of completed foreclosures was more than 6,000.

Jack Newsham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.

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