This is not a huge surprise. In May 2008, state legislators began requiring lenders to give homeowners 90 days to cure mortgage defaults. This essentially delayed the process, and by no means will solve the problem. My assumption is the majority of these homeowners who were given the additional 90 days will continue down the same path, which is foreclosure. I think it will just be 3 additional months of lenders not receiving mortgage payments.

I don't know how to cure this mess, but I don't think bailing all the dummies out makes sense. People need to take responsibility for their actions. What do you think?

After consistently climbing by double- and triple-digit percentages, the number of foreclosure deeds filed in Massachusetts dipped 2 percent in August from a year earlier, according to The Warren Group, Banker & Tradesman’s parent company.

There were 998 foreclosure deeds recorded in August, down from 1,018 in August 2007. Despite the slight monthly decline, year-to-date foreclosure activity has surged in Massachusetts. A total of 8,804 foreclosure deeds were filed during the first eight months of the year, up 79 percent from the 4,920 deeds recorded during the same period in 2007. Foreclosure deeds represent the final step in the foreclosure process.

“The number of foreclosure petitions has begun to climb again after slowing down in May because of state legislation that took effect requiring lenders to give homeowners 90 days to cure mortgage defaults. While the number of petitions has started to go up, they haven’t reached the level the state saw in the first quarter, when about 3,000 petitions were being filed every month,” said Timothy Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “One explanation for the drop-off may be that mortgage companies and lenders are modifying loans and are making more of an effort to work with borrowers who are struggling to make monthly payments. But we’re not seeing or hearing any indication of that. Another explanation is that lenders are simply slowing the process down with a less aggressive approach so that the properties do not become vacant and vandalized. Keeping delinquent, but otherwise responsible, homeowners in their homes has advantages for everyone.”