Trustee’s office had busy September

The El Paso County Public Trustee’s office just finished its busiest quarter since the end of 2010.

Trustee Tom Mowle reported that his office processed 3,478 deed releases in September, which brings the year-to-date total 23 percent higher than in 2011. Deeds of trust are released when a homeowner pays off a mortgage, sells a home or refinances a loan.

Releases are traditionally a good indicator of the health of the real estate market as they reflect the number of homes selling.

“While increases in releases of deed of trust are very good news, they likely reflect refinancing to a greater degree than usual rather than private party homes sales,” Mowle writes in his report. “Still, most refinanced loans put the borrower in a better financial situation and at lower risk of future foreclosure.”

As deed releases remained high in September, new foreclosure filings began to slip.

Mowle’s office reviewed and approved 258 foreclosure filings in September, the lowest for a single month in more than a year.

“One month does not make a trend,” Mowle writes. “But we may finally be seeing the reduction of foreclosure filings I’ve been expecting late this year.”

Foreclosure filings are still up 3 percent for the year, but Mowle said the office is on track to finish 2012 with the same number of new foreclosure filings it processed last year.