Today's Globe has a story that's being repeated on various radio stations that "foreclosures" in Massachusetts were up 27% in September when compared to the same month in 2009. The paper does make clear that it means "foreclosure deeds recorded" which come at the end of the process. (In contrast, orders of notice, which come at the start of the process, are down slightly).
Even that rise in foreclosure deeds has a bit of good news: the number recorded in September statewide was down 26% compared to the number recorded in the previous month (August 2010). For 2010 year to date, the foreclosure deed stats aren't very positive with the number recorded from January thru September 2010 was 58% higher than the number recorded for the same months in 2009.
Lowell's figures tracked the statewide trend although the September to September comparison saw a larger jump in Lowell (21 foreclosure deeds in Sep 2009 v 29 in Sep 2010, a 38% jump). The other Lowell numbers were closer to the statewide average: A 22% drop from August 2010 to September 2010; a 60% increase in Jan-Sep 2010 from Jan-Sep 2009.