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Trustee: Sales, foreclosures, revenue down

Wed, Aug 3, 2011

News

Fewer than expected foreclosure starts and deed releases will likely reduce revenue for the El Paso County Trustee’s Office.

But Public Trustee Tom Mowle said he’s already cut his budget and is in a good position heading into what he expects will be a slow final two quarters of the year.

Mowle released his July trustee’s report earlier this week and announced that foreclosure starts were down, with just 238 in June.

That will likely cause his estimate of 3,303 foreclosure starts for the year to come in high. Mowle said in his report that he believes the slowdown in foreclosure starts comes from banks working with and negotiating with homeowners more before filing for foreclosure.

More foreclosures are going to sale at the first opportunity within the last few months, Mowle reported. And fewer are being cured or withdrawn.

There have been fewer than expected deed releases, which occur when someone sells a home, refinances or pays off a mortgage. Mowle estimated there would be 35,000 releases for the year, which would be a slight improvement over 2010. But that estimate banked on there being 3,000 releases per month for the last six months of 2011. There were only 2,312 deeds released in July, Mowle reported.

Despite the down revenues – the trustee’s office generates its income from deed releases and foreclosures – the trustee’s office budget is in good shape, Mowle said.

“Our 2012 budget for personnel and other expenses is down 18 percent from this year, compared to an anticipated 11 percent drop in revenue ,” Mowle wrote.

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