Foreclosure filings and sales down in El Paso County

Third quarter foreclosure filings and sales at auction were down statewide and in El Paso County.

Foreclosure filings, the first step toward foreclosure taken against homeowners who are least 90-days delinquent in paying their mortgages, dropped nearly 25 percent from 1,187 in 2010 to 872 in the third quarter of this year, according to a Colorado Division of Housing report.

The number of foreclosure home sales dropped more than a third from 746 in the third quarter of 2010 to 497 in the third quarter of 2011.

The news across the state is primarily good.

However, El Paso County Public Trustee Tom Mowle releases his own foreclosure report at the beginning of each month and found that the number of new foreclosure starts has been on the rise the last three months, with numbers around 330. That’s up significantly from five straight months in the mid-200s, Mowle wrote in his report earlier this month.

“This continues the increased level of foreclosures starts we expected for this year, as the last interest-only 80/20 loans get reset,” Mowle writes.

The county’s surge in foreclosure filings during the third quarter was in keeping with the rest of the state, which saw the number of foreclosures rise 11 percent from 7,233 in the second quarter to 8,026 in the third, according to the state report.

While new filings are on the rise for the year, 2011 is still shaping up to have the lowest number of foreclosure filings and sales at auction since 2009, according to the state division of housing.

There were 23,374 total foreclosure filings between January and September of 2011. Barring dramatic increases in the next few months, they are on target to fall well below the 42,692 filings in 2010.

Foreclosure sales are also down. There were 15,565 state-wide between January and September of this year. And there were 23,891 in 2010.

The state’s 12 most populous counties accounted for 80 percent of all foreclosures so far this year. That’s high, but down from 90 percent in 2007, which indicates that the outlying areas are experiencing higher foreclosure rates.

Within El Paso County, Peyton, Calhan, Palmer Lake, Fountain and the 80916 zip codes have the highest density of foreclosures while Manitou Springs, Elbert, Rockrimmon and Cascade have the lowest density, according to Mowle’s third-quarter report.