Foreclosures not slowing down |

Foreclosures not slowing down

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

There were 10,017 new foreclosure filings issued in Colorado during the second quarter of 2007, bringing total foreclosure filings to 19,460 for the first six months of the year. The new statistics, released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, show that foreclosure filings increased 6 percent from the 1st quarter to the 2nd, and that the state is on pace to see a 25 percent increase in foreclosure filings this year, topping 36,000 by year’s end. 28,435 foreclosures were reported for 2006.

The report also tracks how many foreclosing properties proceeded through the foreclosure process to sale at public auction. During the first six months of 2007 there were 11,908 foreclosure sales compared to 13,643 for all of 2006. Foreclosure sales increased 118 percent from 2003 to 2006. “Foreclosure sale” is the stage in the foreclosure process at which the property is sold at public auction 45-60 days after the initial foreclosure filing. The sale also marks the point at which the homeowner has lost the right to repay missed payments and reinstate the home loan.

Most of the growth in foreclosure filings was found in Adams and Denver counties. Adams County filings increased 19 percent from 1,456 to 1,734 over the last two quarters. Denver County filings increased ten percent from 1,940 to 2,151. In many counties, there was little growth in foreclosure filings between the first and second quarters. This is consistent with seasonal factors which generally point to less growth in foreclosure activity during the second quarter.

Foreclosure sales at auction, on the other hand, increased in all large Front Range counties. In Arapahoe County foreclosure filings actually decreased 6 percent, but there was a 13 percent increase in foreclosure sales from the 1st quarter to the 2nd. Pueblo County reported a 5 percent decrease in filings, but a 17 percent increase in foreclosure sales. In Colorado overall, foreclosure sales at auction increased 13 percent from 5,586 during the 1st quarter to 6,322 during the 2nd.

Foreclosure activity is the strongest on the Front Range from Larimer County to Pueblo County. Adams County reported the highest foreclosure rate with 1 foreclosure filing for every 45 households. Denver and Weld counties reported 1 filing per 60 households and 1 filing per 62 households respectively. Boulder County reported a lower foreclosure rate than any other Denver Metro county with 1 filing per 264 households.

Excluding the Denver Metro area and Weld County, Pueblo County reported the highest foreclosure rate with 1 filing per 78 households. The Western Slope fared much better with Garfield County and La Plata counties reporting only 1 filing per 506 households, and 1 filing per 479 households respectively. Statewide, there was 1 filing per 181 households.

“It looks like we’re very unlikely to see any declines in foreclosure rates this year.” said Kathi Williams, Director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “There are still plenty of adjustable-rate mortgages set to readjust, and there is plenty of inventory on the market. If you can’t make your payments, and you need to sell your house, odds are that you won’t be able to sell it quickly or easily. That’s certainly part of what’s driving the foreclosure numbers we’re seeing along the front range.”

Zachary Urban, administrator of the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline (1-877-601-HOPE) and director of housing counseling for Brothers Redevelopment, Inc. notes that there’s been no drop off in hotline activity. “What concerns us the most though, is that there is an increasing number of properties going to sale at auction. A foreclosure filing is not the end of the world, but once the home is sold at auction, there’s very little that can be done. People need to call us because there’s a lot that can be done between the filing and the sale.”

The new foreclosure numbers contradict foreclosure statistics released earlier this year by Realtytrac, a real estate investment firm in California. Realtytrac reported that there were over 17,000 new foreclosures in Colorado during the second quarter. The Division of Housing maintains that Realtytrac’s methods are flawed, and that they are overstating the foreclosure numbers in Colorado.

“Since we fund foreclosure prevention efforts, we need the best information possible,” said Susan Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. “Ultimately, the foreclosure issue is a local issue, and it’s about homeownership in Colorado communities. We need to know with accuracy which communities are most affected.”

The Colorado Division of Housing collects foreclosure data from public trustees on a quarterly basis. The report, and past foreclosure reports, can be accessed online at the Colorado Division of Housing Web Site at

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