BOSTON (AP) — A new report says foreclosure activity is continuing its steady increase in Massachusetts.

The Warren Group said Tuesday that foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, rose nearly 63 percent in the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period last year.

More than 2,000 foreclosures were completed in the first six months of the current year, a 21 percent increase over the first six months of 2014.

Foreclosure petitions jumped 81 percent in the month of June alone.

Timothy Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group, says lenders had allowed many delinquent mortgages to pile up over the last few years. With the real estate market improving and more demand for affordable homes, Warren says lenders are now moving to clear the backlog.

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