Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New foreclosure filings down 16.6 percent in April

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Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties fell 16.6 percent last month as compared to April of last year. According to a report released today by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, foreclosure filings also fell 12.7 percent from March to April of this year. Compared to April of 2008, April 2010 filings were also down 12.9 percent.

Foreclosure sales at auction fell 16 percent from March to April of this year, and rose 45.2 percent from April 2009 to April 2010. The year-over-year increase reflects the very low number of foreclosure sales that occurred during April 2009 due to last year’s voluntary moratoria on foreclosures.

Due to a national moratorium on processing foreclosures put in place in late 2008 and early 2009, foreclosure sales during the first half of 2009 fell significantly. Beginning in late 2008, several national mortgage servicers, with major investors like Fannie Mae, temporarily slowed or halted the processing of foreclosures to allow for new loss mitigation policies to be put in place. Consequently, few foreclosures proceeded to final sale during the first several months of 2009, driving down foreclosure sales totals for the period.

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.

“The number of new people entering foreclosure in April is clearly down from a year earlier, but the overall trend is pretty flat.” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the Division of Housing. “Homeowners and foreclosure counselors are still dealing with a very large number of new filings from last year, and that’s keeping foreclosure sales numbers high as well.”

Foreclosure activity varied by county. The counties with the largest decreases in foreclosure filings from April 2009 to April 2010 were Pueblo County and Denver County, where filings decreased by 34.4 percent and 30.6 percent, respectively. The largest increase was in Mesa County where filings increased 100 percent year-over-year.

Over the same period, foreclosure sales increased in all counties except Denver County and Pueblo County where foreclosure sales fell by 16.4 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The largest increase was found in Mesa County where foreclosure sales increased 675 percent from April 2009 to April 2010.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Weld County with a rate of 473 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County came in second with 585 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 2,142 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate increased more than seven fold 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.