Thursday, August 2, 2012

Foreclosure filings inch up in 2012, auction sales fall again

New foreclosure auction sales were down 26 percent in Colorado during the first half of 2012 compared to the first half of 2011.  According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, auction sales during the second quarter hit the lowest level reported since the Division began compiling foreclosure data in 2007. There were 3,784 foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, reported during the second quarter of 2012 and 8,005 during the first half of the year. There were 5,333 sales reported during the second quarter of last year, and 10,938 during the first half of the year. 

New foreclosure filings rose slightly during the first half of the year, rising 2.8 percent from the first half of 2011 to the same period this year. Foreclosure filing totals for the second quarter alone this year were up 9.9 percent, rising to 8,061 from 2011’s second-quarter total of 7,333. During the first half of this year, 15,844 new filings were reported which puts Colorado on pace to finish the year with the lowest foreclosure filings total since 2006.

Foreclosure auction sales during the second quarter fell 46 percent below 2007’s peak of 7,117 auction sales reported during the third quarter of that year. New foreclosure filings during the second quarter fell 35 percent below 2009’s peak of 12,468 reported during the third quarter of that year.

“A year after 2011’s big drops in  new foreclosure filings, we’re now seeing foreclosure auction sales really drop off too,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “We did see a rise in new foreclosure filings compared to last year, but that was expected because last year’s filings were just so low thanks to all the slowdowns and delays caused by a variety of controversies and legal settlements.”

Eleven of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in the number of foreclosure auction sales occurring during the first half of the year. From the first half of last year to the same period this year, sales declined 37 percent and 34 percent in Denver and Weld counties, respectively.  Sales fell 33 percent in Larimer County. Only Broomfield County reported an increase, with auction sales rising 20.5 percent.

Those counties that did experience year-over-year increases in auction sales this year were generally found outside the Front Range, and include several Western Slope and mountain counties such as Montezuma, Moffat, and Ouray counties.

Mountain counties were also found among the state’s counties with the highest foreclosure rates including Grand, Park and Garfield counties. Boulder, meanwhile, now reports the second-lowest foreclosure rate of all Colorado counties.  

“Metro Denver counties are really seeing a drop-off in foreclosure filings right now with Denver County, for example, down more than 50 percent from peak levels,” McMaken said. “Recent data on delinquent loans and total loan inventory point toward continued declines in many parts of the state.”  

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 at least 110-120 days 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.