There have been about 50 foreclosure deeds recorded for property in Lowell so far this year (there are a few others that are "confirmatory" or something other than a standard foreclosure). For the same time period in 2012 there were 121 so this is definitely a positive trend.
Another positive trend is the shrinking of the time gap between the auction and the recording of the foreclosure deed. The property is in a kind of legal limbo during this period and last time I measured which was a few years ago, it was often a year or more. Now, however, the average gap is 5 months and quite a few (13 of 50) were recorded in one month or less.
As for the circumstances involved in these current foreclosures: most of them were of mortgages that originated during the boom. Of the 2013 foreclosure deeds, for instance, 7 were of mortgages that were executed in 2004, 15 were from 2005, 12 were from 2006, 4 were from 2007, and no other year had more than 2.