Report: Foreclosure filings down

New foreclosure filings in Colorado fell more than 28 percent in the first half of 2011, according to report from the Colorado Division of Housing.

There were just 15,348 foreclosures filed  in the state during the first two quarters of the year, which is lower than the 21,369 foreclosures filed in the first half of last year.

“While some of the decrease in foreclosure activity is due to the banks processing foreclosures more slowly, there are also reasons to believe that there are in fact fewer people actually getting behind on their payments,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. “Consequently, the number of new households entering the foreclosure process is down quite a bit from any other year since 2007. But the fact that foreclosure sales at auction are holding steady tells us that there are still a lot of properties in the foreclosure process that must be dealt with.”

State numbers are in keeping with national trends, according to RealtyTrac figures.

Nationally, foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were down 4 percent from June and 35 percent from July 2010,  according to a RealtyTrac release.

“This string of decreases was initially triggered by the robo-signing controversy back in October 2010, which forced lenders to substantially slow the pace of foreclosing,” RealtyTrac Ceo James Saccacio said. “But the downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken on a life of its own. It appears that the foreclosure processing delays, combined with the smorgasbord of national and state-level foreclosure prevention efforts — including loan modifications, lender-borrower mediations and mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed — may be allowing more distressed homeowners to stave off foreclosure.”

Nevada, California and Arizona are still the top ranked states with the highest foreclosure rates. Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 55th straight month with one foreclosure for every 115 homes.

Colorado saw its foreclosures drop 26.2 percent from June and 34.6 percent from July of 2010, according to RealtyTrac data.

While the number of foreclosure filing dropped significantly in El Paso County during the first half of this year, it still has more foreclosures than homes on the market, according to RealtyTrac.

There are 3,082 foreclosures and only 2,538 homes listed on the MLS, according an interactive RealtyTrac map.

That’s uncommon in the state. Other metropolitan counties  have significantly more properties on the market than they have foreclosures. The exception is Pueblo County, where there are 1,159 foreclosures and only 335 homes on the market.