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Melrose foreclosures rise in first quarter of 2012

Petitions for new foreclosures in Melrose more than doubled in the first three months of the year, new housing data shows.

Lenders moved to foreclosure on 12 homeowners through March, up from five in the same period last year, according to the Warren Group, which tracks real estate trends in Massachusetts.

Completed foreclosures, known as foreclosure deeds, spiked even higher, to six this year, compared to only one in the first quarter of 2011.

Sales of foreclosed Melrose homes was the only positive exception. In all, nine homes were sold on the auction block through March, three fewer than last year.

For town-by-town stats, click here.

Statewide, foreclosure activity has spiked this year, and last month in particular. The rise in activity follows a national anti-foreclosure lawsuit that slowed the process in 2011.

Lenders initiated 1,621 foreclosures during the month of March, up from 1,048 in the same period last year.

“Banks are stepping up foreclosures all over the country, and Massachusetts is no exception,” said The Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr.

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