Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

January 31, 2006

Foreclosures Up?

by @ 10:28 am. Filed under Statistics, FAQs

Yesterday’s Globe carried a front page story “Housing slowdown squeezes borrowers: Foreclousre cases hit 12-year high” that certainly got my attention. The key statistic used by the story is the number of Orders of Notice filed at the Land Court. Here’s an excerpt from our website that explains Orders of Notice in the context of the overall foreclosure process:

In Massachusetts, a lender seeking to foreclose a mortgage
must first obtain permission from the court. As part of this
process, the court issues an ORDER OF NOTICE that must
be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. The ORDER OF NOTICE
names the parties, the property address, and the Book and Page
where the mortgage is located. Once the court gives permission
to proceed, the lender may schedule the foreclosure sale at
any time. The next document that gets recorded at the Registry
of Deeds, the Foreclosure Deed, is not recorded until after the
sale has occurred.

Here in Middlesex North, the statistics tell a different story: The number of Orders of Notice recorded in 2005 (340) was down slightly from the number recorded the previous year (346), however, the numbers recorded in both years were higher than at any time since 1997 when 483 were recorded. The highest annual amount in the past 15 years? That would be 1992 when 975 were recorded. Of course, with today being the last day of the month, we can look at our first indicators for 2006 and they don’t paint a particularly bleak picture: in January we’ve only recorded 23 Orders of Notice which, if projected out over a full year, would only come to 276, far fewer than last year’s total.

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