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Mass. Foreclosure Activity Drops Again

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BOSTON (AP) — The number of foreclosure petitions filed in Massachusetts has remained below 1,000 for the fourth consecutive month after the petitions marking the first step in the foreclosure process fell more than 38 percent in February when compared with a year ago.

The Warren Group, an independent publisher of real estate data, reported Tuesday that lenders filed 856 petitions in February, down from 1,394 the previous February. The Boston-based publisher says the decline is fueled by improvements in the job market as well as lenders’ willingness to do short sales and modify loans.

Lenders filed 240 foreclosure deeds in February, the final step in the foreclosure process. That marks a 69 percent decline from 767 filed a year ago.

Auction announcements dropped 76 percent to 330 over the last year.