Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2012 Foreclosures in Colorado Drop to Six-Year Low

 New foreclosure auction sales in 2012 were down 18.9 percent in Colorado, compared to 2011.  According to a reportreleased Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 15,903 foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, reported during 2012, compared to 19,617 during 2011.  For 2012’s fourth quarter alone, foreclosure auction sales dropped 7.3 percent from 4,057 during the fourth quarter of 2011 to 3,760 during the fourth  quarter of 2012.

New foreclosure filings also fell during 2012, dropping 10.6 percent from 31,975 in 2011 to 28,579 in 2012.  Foreclosure filing totals for the fourth quarter alone this year were down 33.4 percent, falling to 5,685 from 2011’s fourth-quarter total of 8,540.

“Foreclosures in 2012 basically dropped back down to 2006 levels,” said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “There are also many more households now than in 2006, so if you adjust the foreclosure rate for the population growth, we’re almost back at 2005 levels.”

Eleven of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in the number of foreclosure auction sales from 2011 to 2012. Auction sales declined 32.8 percent and 28.5 percent in Douglas and Larimer counties, respectively.  Pueblo County showed an increase of 1.4 percent year over year.

Only 15 of Colorado’s 64 counties reported increases in completed foreclosures from 2011 to 2012. Those counties that did experience year-over-year increases in auction sales this year were often found among western slope and mountain counties, such as Fremont, Montezuma and Moffat counties.

Mountain counties were also found among the state’s counties with the highest foreclosure rates which included Park, Grand and Garfield counties.  Boulder, meanwhile, reported the seventh-lowest foreclosure rate of all Colorado counties. Park County reported the highest rate.

“Employment continues to be a major factor,” McMaken said. “It’s not the only factor, but it’s not a big surprise that counties with lower unemployment rates are generally seeing foreclosures go away faster.”

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.