Thursday, May 16, 2013

Colorado foreclosure filings plummet 41 percent during first quarter

New foreclosure filings were down 41.3 percent in Colorado during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 4,571 foreclosure filings reported during the first quarter of 2013, compared to 7,785 reported during the first quarter of last year.

Foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, also fell significantly, dropping 30.5 percent from 2012’s first-quarter total of 4,221 to this year’s first-quarter total of 2,935.

Both foreclosure filings totals and foreclosure auction sales totals were the lowest quarterly totals collected in any quarter since the Division of Housing began tracking quarterly totals in 2007.

“This is a large decline in foreclosure activity,” said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “The trend downward is accelerating, helped along by low mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a stabilizing employment situation.”

All of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in both foreclosure filings totals and foreclosure auction sales totals for the first quarter of 2013. The counties with the largest declines in new foreclosure filigns were Douglas County and Mesa County with drops of 49.3 percent and 47.1 percent, respectively.

Only ten of the state’s 64 counties reported year-over-year increases in foreclosure filings, and they were smaller counties with fewer than 40 total foreclosure filings in each county.

When adjusted for population size, the counties with the highest foreclosure rates were all found outside the metropolitan areas. The top five counties for the proportion of homes that were in foreclosure were Gilpin, Custer, Archuleta, Grand and Park counties.

“40 percent drops in foreclosure filings were typical all along the Front Range this past quarter,” McMaken said. “The decline in foreclosures has been a statewide phenomenon so far this year.”

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.