Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Foreclosure filings continue slide, drop 25 percent in early 2014

New foreclosure filings were down 24.7 percent in Colorado during the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of 2013. According to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 3,441 foreclosure filings reported from January through March of 2014, compared to 4,571 during the same period of last year.

Foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, also fell significantly over the same period, dropping 41.5 percent from 2013’s first-quarter total of 2,935 to this year’s first-quarter total of 1,718.  

Although foreclosure activity was down year-over-year, filings and sales increased from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. Foreclosure filings rose 15.4 percent from 2013's fourth-quarter total of 2,981 to 2014's first-quarter total of 3,441. Foreclosure sales rose 4.1 percent from 1,650 to 1,718 over the same period.

“Foreclosures have been rising from late 2013's very-low totals," said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “But the increases are rather small and foreclosure totals remain near ten-year lows."

Of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties, only El Paso County reported a year-over-year increase in foreclosure filings. Filings increased 6.4 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, rising from 549 to 584.  The counties with the largest declines in foreclosure filings were Boulder County and Broomfield County with drops of 32.3  percent and 61.0 percent, respectively.

When adjusted for population size, the counties with the highest foreclosure rates during the first quarter were all found outside the Front Range, and Mesa County was the only metropolitan county in the top ten. The top five counties for the proportion of homes that were in foreclosure during the first quarter were Bent, San Juan, Teller, Las Animas, and Mesa.

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.