Foreclosures finding lots of company |

Foreclosures finding lots of company

EAGLE – Eagle County is just keeping up with its neighbors in terms of last year’s foreclosure record.

Eagle County saw 618 foreclosures in 2010, an all time record.

Routt County saw its record 234 filings from 1985 fall to 303 foreclosures in 2010.

Garfield County had 644 foreclosures in 2010, an 825 percent increase over the county’s 25-year average and 400 more than its foreclosure record in 1985.

Even upscale Pitkin County (Aspen) and San Miguel County (Telluride) set new foreclosure records.

Summit County got off relatively light with 350 foreclosure filings in 2010, short of the record of more than 400 set back in the 1980s.

In Pitkin County, the base project at Snowmass Village and Aspen’s slopeside Dancing Bear fractional ownership project both fell to foreclosure, totaling more than $570 million.

Last November, lenders foreclosed on a $100 million construction loan at the high-end One Steamboat Place project at the base of the Steamboat ski area. San Miguel County recorded foreclosure filings on two hotels in Telluride’s Mountain Village.

The region hasn’t seen anything like it since the energy industry bust of the 1980s, when timeshares vastly inflated foreclosure numbers.

Of this year’s 618 foreclosures in Eagle County, only 19 were timeshares. The rest were homes and commercial properties.

And while we’re on the number 19, the Eagle County Treasurer’s office sold 19 local properties at its public trustee’s auction this past Wednesday, Sheaffer said.

“That’s very unusual for us,” Sheaffer said. “We rarely have that many go to sale. We’re not sure if that’s an anomaly, or a preview of coming attractions.”

Even more unusual, one owner bought back his own home at last week’s public trustees sale. He had to bring in a cashiers check for just under $500,000 to do it, Sheaffer said.

“We usually don’t have that situation,” Sheaffer said. “Normally the lender buys back the property.”

It takes between five months and a year for a foreclosed property to get to a foreclosure sale. That clock starts when you get your first foreclosure notice to the time the property is auctioned.

Once it’s auctioned, you usually have about 10 days to find another place to live.

Many lenders foreclosing on properties had been postponing the sale. They seem reluctant to dump a foreclosed home into a glutted market, Sheaffer said.

“We find that a lot of sales are being postponed by the lender,” Sheaffer said.

It remains to be seen whether or not last week’s unusually high number of sales becomes the norm, Sheaffer said.

In Eagle County, foreclosures are running highest in the western end of the county. The same is true for bedroom communities in every resort county, with foreclosures soaring as property values plummet.

“When the economy and construction slowed down starting in 2008, many of the residents lost jobs, had little or no other income, and could no longer afford their mortgage payments,” Laurie Slaughter, a Gypsum Realtor with Prudential, told the Denver Post. “Because they also were upside down on their home values, . . . they had no choice but to short sale their home or walk away.”

Denver Post writer Jason Blevins contributed to this report.

Contact Vail Daily staff writer Randy Wyrick at 970-748-2935, or e-mail

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