Thursday, August 5, 2010

New foreclosures filings drop 16 percent in Colorado

Full report is available here.

New foreclosure filings fell to 10,233 in Colorado during 2010’s second quarter, falling 15.7 percent from 2009’s second-quarter total of 12,135. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, 2010’s second quarter filings were also down 8.1 percent from 2010’s first-quarter total of 11,136.

Foreclosure filings fell for the third quarter in a row with foreclosure filings now down 18 percent from the recent peak in filings activity experienced during the third quarter of 2009 when total filings hit 12,468.

“With foreclosure filings at their lowest point in five quarters, we think this constitutes a future downward trend” said Pat Coyle, director of the Division of Housing. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that in Colorado at least, new foreclosure filings are inching down in spite of a steady unemployment rate.”

During the first half of 2010, foreclosure filings fell 5.6 percent as compared to the first half of 2009, while foreclosure sales at auction rose 34.4 percent during the same period.

Foreclosure sales at auction, the event that completes the foreclosure process, increased 17.7 percent from the second quarter of 2009 to the same period this year, rising from 4,999 to 5,885. However, foreclosure sales fell 12.0 percent from the first quarter’s total of 6,686 to the second quarter of this year.

Although year-over-year comparisons show marked increases in foreclosure sales totals from 2009 to 2010, foreclosure sales totals for 2010 remain in line with totals experienced during most quarters since 2006. Foreclosure sales during the first half of 2009 had been significantly affected by moratoria put on the processing of foreclosures by several major investors and servicers of mortgages. These moratoria drove foreclosure sales numbers to unusually low totals while quarterly totals in 2010 returned to more typical levels.

“5,000 to 6,000 foreclosure sales each quarter has been the norm since 2006, but what’s notable is that in spite of the job losses in 2008 and 2009, the foreclosure sales numbers haven’t moved above those levels.” Coyle said. “This is where we’ve really seen the impact of the Foreclosure Hotline and the housing counseling agencies in Colorado. They’ve really helped put a limit on how many homes end up on the auction block.”

All Front Range counties reported year-over-year drops in foreclosure filings. Comparing the second quarter of 2009 to the same period this year, foreclosure filings in Denver County fell 30.4 percent, while filings fell 26.1 percent in Adams County and 23.4 percent in Weld County. Filings fell by 20 percent and 12.8 percent in Pueblo County and El Paso County, respectively.

The counties that did report increases in foreclosure filings were all found outside the metro Denver area and Colorado’s Front Range. Foreclosure filings in Mesa County increased 40.2 percent from the second quarter of last year to the same period this year. In Delta County, Montezuma County and Summit County, for example, foreclosure filings increased 46.3 percent, 12.5 percent and 23.4 percent, respectively.

Foreclosure sales are opened foreclosures that have proceeded through the full foreclosure process to final sale at public auction. Filings denote the beginning of the foreclosure process, and once a foreclosure is filed, the borrower has approximately four months to work with the lender to avoid a completed foreclosure. It is during this period that borrowers work with lenders and housing counselors to work out loan modifications, short sales, or other ways of withdrawing the foreclosure.