Thursday, September 23, 2010

Foreclosure filings in Colorado inch up

Foreclosure filings in Colorado rose for the second month in a row in August, but foreclosures are still down when compared to last year. According to a report released today by the Department of Local Affairs' Division of Housing, foreclosure filings in Colorado 's metropolitan counties fell 10.1 percent in August as compared to August of last year. There were 3,142 new foreclosure filings during August compared to 3,496 filings during the same period last year. Monthly foreclosure filings totals have been down year-over-year each month since April.

Foreclosure sales at auction, however, increased from August of last year to the same time this year. Foreclosure sales at auction rose 29.7 percent, rising from 1,359 during August of last year to 1,763 during August of this year.

From July to August this year, foreclosure filings rose 15.6 percent, and foreclosure sales at auction fell rose 11.5 percent.

"Call volume has traditionally gone up in August in recent years, but we are starting to see more foreclosures advancing through the process than was the case last year," said Stephanie Riggi, manager of the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline call center. "For a while, mortgage servicers were regularly taking 12 to 18 months to process foreclosures, but now it looks like we're seeing a return to a more normal six to nine month period for foreclosures to go through the process."

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.

"We saw numbers increase from July to August, but compared to last summer's number, we're seeing totals drop off a bit, said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the Division of Housing. "But the larger trend doesn't seem to have changed much. We hit a plateau with foreclosures back in 2008, and we haven't seen a sustained drop or a sustained rise in foreclosure activity since."

Foreclosure activity varied by county. The counties with the largest decreases in foreclosure filings from August 2009 to August 2010 were Adams County and Denver County , where filings decreased by 24.2 percent and 20.0 percent, respectively. Pueblo County reported the largest rise in new filings with an increase of 31.6 percent, year-over-year.

Year-over-year, all counties showed increases in foreclosure sales at auction. From August 2009 to August 2010, foreclosure sales increased 196 percent in Mesa County . Arapahoe County and Weld County reported the smallest increases among all counties surveyed with increases of 5.3 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Adams County with a rate of 616 households per foreclosure sale. Weld County came in second with 634 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 2,029 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate increased from 2,133 households per foreclosure to 720 households per foreclosure, year-over-year.

The Division of Housing's monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve largest counties of Colorado . The report is a supplement to the Division's quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado .

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