While the overall recording statistics for September trended positive, one number of great concern leaps out at you and that’s a major increase in the number of orders of notice recorded in September 2009 when compared to the same month in 2008. You will recall that an order of notice is a document issued by the Land Court that marks the beginning of the foreclosure process. When an order of notice is recorded, there’s a very good chance that a foreclosure deed will follow in six to nine months. This just past month, we recorded 97 orders of notice while last September, we recorded only 49 - that’s a 98% increase. The numbers were spread evenly between Lowell and the towns with the Lowell number rising from 24 to 48 and the towns increasing from 25 to 49. I can’t offer any theories as to why there’s a sudden increase - the September number is up 56% from the preceding month - but it does signal that there could be an upsurge in foreclosures coming early in 2010.
Statistics for other document types do present a more positive picture. The number of foreclosure deeds were down 19% for Lowell and 37% for the towns; the number of deeds increased 14% for Lowell and 5% for the towns; but the number of mortgages was mixed, dropping 12% for Lowell but rising 36% for the towns.