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Mass. foreclosures up 22 percent in January

Foreclosures in Massachusetts rose 22 percent in January when compared with the previous year, but held relatively steady from December.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Foreclosures in Massachusetts rose 22 percent in January when compared with the previous year, but held relatively steady from December.

The Warren Group, a Boston-based publisher of real estate data, said Thursday that 950 foreclosures were recorded in January, up from 800 in January 2008 and 936 in December.

But foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, continued to drop, falling 39 percent below January 2008 levels.

Timothy Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group, said the drop in foreclosure petitions could be a result of political pressure on lenders to slow down the foreclosure process and work with borrowers.

The positive news of a year-to-year drop in foreclosure petitions was tempered by a 20 percent rise in the petitions from December.