Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New foreclosure filings rise 6.5 percent in February

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New foreclosure filings rise 6.5 percent in February

Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties rose 6.5 percent last month as compared to February of last year. According to a report released today by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, foreclosure sales at auction rose 14 percent from February 2009 to February 2010, but remain down 14 percent compared to February 2008. New foreclosure filings were also down 14 percent compared to February of 2008.

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.

“Early last year, Fannie, Freddie and some major services joined in a moratorium on foreclosures, so it’s not surprising that this year, with no moratorium in place, numbers are higher,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the Division of Housing. “Yet the overall trend shows that new foreclosure filings are flattening out for now.”

Foreclosure activity varied by county. The counties with the largest decreases in filings activity from February 2009 to February 2010 were El Paso County and Larimer County, where filings decreased by 16 percent and 24 percent, respectively. The largest increase was in Mesa County where filings increased 223 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosure sales activity decreased in Adams, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld Counties during February of this year compared to February of 2009. The largest decrease was in Weld County where sales decreased 20 percent year-over-year. The largest increase was found in Mesa County where foreclosure sales increased 363 percent from February 2009 to February 2010. However, measuring changes in foreclosure sales activity since 2008, some counties reported substantial decreases with Adams, Arapahoe and Denver Counties all reporting declines of over 40 percent.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Weld County with a rate of 639 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County came in second with 714 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 1,896 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate more than quadrupled 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.