Colorado foreclosure filings up 6.5 percent in February

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Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties increased 6.5 percent last month compared to February of last year, according to a report this week from the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing.

However, the counties with the largest decrease in filings during the period were El Paso and Larimer counties.

Foreclosure sales at auction rose 14 percent from February 2009 to February 2010, but remain down 14 percent compared to February 2008.

New foreclosure filings were also down 14 percent compared to February of 2008,

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.

“Early last year, Fannie, Freddie and some major services joined in a moratorium on foreclosures, so it’s not surprising that this year, with no moratorium in place, numbers are higher,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the Division of Housing. “Yet the overall trend shows that new foreclosure filings are flattening out for now.”

Foreclosure activity varied widely by county.

In El Paso and Larimer counties, where filings decreased by 16 percent and 24 percent, respectively. The largest increase was in Mesa County where filings increased 223 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosure sales activity decreased in Adams, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson and Weld Counties during February of this year compared to February of 2009. The largest decrease was in Weld County where sales decreased 20 percent year-over-year. The largest increase was found in Mesa County where foreclosure sales increased 363 percent from February 2009 to February 2010.

However, measuring changes in foreclosure sales activity since 2008, some counties reported substantial decreases with Adams, Arapahoe and Denver Counties all reporting declines of over 40 percent.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Weld County with a rate of 639 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County came in second with 714 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 1,896 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate more than quadrupled year-over-year.

The monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve largest counties of Colorado.

County Feb-08 Feb-09 Feb-10 Percent change over Feb. 2008 Percent change over Feb. 2009
Adams 612 388 395 -35.5 1.8
Arapahoe 580 439 498 -14.1 13.4
Boulder 80 93 110 37.5 18.3
Broomfield 25 26 24 -4.0 -7.7
Denver 615 400 424 -31.1 6.0
Douglas 202 191 237 17.3 24.1
El Paso 457 450 376 -17.7 -16.4
Jefferson 301 273 327 8.6< 19.8
Larimer 218 200 152 -30.3 -24.0
Mesa 39 44 142 264.1 222.7
Pueblo 124 124 117 -5.6 -5.6
Weld 282 228 240 -14.9 5.3
Total 3535 2856 3042 -13.9 6.5