Foreclosure petitions in Mansfield dropped from four last year to one in January. Deeds also fell, from three to two year-over-year, according to information compiled by the real estate information firm The Warren Group.
In Massachusetts, the number of foreclosure petitions (which start the foreclosure process) dropped by nearly 58 percent (from 1,874 to 793), and foreclosure deeds (which represent completed foreclosures) dropped by almost 59 percent (from 1,141 to 468) when compared to January 2010.
Vincent Valvo, the group publisher and editor-in-chief of "Banker & Tradesman," cautioned in a statement against attributing too much of the drop to an improved economy.
"Slowing foreclosure activity could be the result of several factors," Valvo said in a statement. "Unfortunately, it's more likely that the reduction is caused by lenders slowing their processes rather than improved financial stability among homeowners."
Here are the foreclosure statistics for area towns:
▪ Easton saw its foreclosure petitions drop from six last year to two in January. There were no foreclosure deeds issued in either January 2010 or 2011.
▪ Foreclosure petitions in Foxborough dropped from three four last year to zero in January.
▪ Medfield's foreclosure petitions fell from four to zero in January, but its number of completed foreclosures increased from zero to two over the same timeframe.
▪ Norfolk's foreclosure petitions are down for the month, from four to zero. Deeds in town were at zero for both January 2010 and January 2011.
▪ Norton's foreclosure petitions fell from 10 to three in January, with deeds falling from three to one.
▪ Norwood saw its foreclosure petitions fall from nine to three in January, with deeds remaining steady at two.
▪ Plainville foreclosure petitions increased year-over-year, from one to two, with deeds dropping from one to zero.
▪ Foreclosure petitions in Sharon declined sharply, from five to zero, in January. Deeds also fell, from two to zero.
▪ Stoughton's foreclosure petitions fell from six to two in January, with deeds decreasing from three to two.
▪ Wrentham’s foreclosure petitions decreased from 1 to zero in the month of January and completed foreclosures fell from five to zero compared to January 2010.