Routt County’s foreclosure prognosis is mixed

County already has seen record number of filings in 2010, and trustee says tally may go higher


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— With five weeks remaining in 2010, Routt County already has established a new record for the number of foreclosure filings in a calendar year at 274, and Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon expects the year-end tally to reach 300.

“They’re still coming in this week, and I don’t see them slowing down,” Whiddon said. “We’ve been averaging 25 to 35 a month.”

The previous record was 234 set in 1985. That represented the peak of the fallout from the savings and loan crisis. By 1986, the number of county foreclosures had dropped modestly to 218 and was in full retreat in 1987 with 185.

Foreclosure filings, technically notices of election and demand (NEDs), are not the same thing as someone losing their home. A substantial number of NEDs are withdrawn before a property ever goes to a trustee’s sale, and the property is either acquired by a third party or goes back to the lending institution that holds the deed on the property.

By the end of the third quarter Sept. 30, Whiddon said her office had seen 222 foreclosure notices filed and about 96 — or more than a third — had been withdrawn. However, some of those withdrawals were related to 2009 NEDs.

A withdrawal by the lending institution holding the deed signifies the mortgage payments have been brought current, or the terms of the mortgage have been restructured.

Although the number of foreclosure filings that took place in 2010 doesn’t augur well for 2011, Realtor Beth Bishop, of the Olson Team at Prudential Steamboat Realty, said there are more hopeful signs in the sales patterns of bank-owned homes.

“The good news is that our number of active residential foreclosures in Routt County is now 36 with 18 pending (under contract to be sold),” Bishop said. “And most of the pending sales are single-family homes. There’s just one condo and one townhome.”

The number of active listings for bank-owned homes has been as high as 51 this year.

The absorption of homes in foreclosure should be welcome news to homeowners here that either want or need to sell their property, Bishop added.

“We want to get through these foreclosures, and these houses aren’t just sitting there like they are in some cities,” Bishop said. “It’s a good sign for our economy.”

Sales particularly are active in Stagecoach, where an attractive five-bedroom home just less than 3,500 square feet sold for $423,000 this week.

Tracking the outcomes of NEDs is complicated by the fact that many take more than a calendar year to carry out and they continually are overlapping one another. And late in summer, the trustee’s office put a new digital tracking system in place. That system still is catching up to the ongoing caseload.

Still, Whiddon said the ratio of foreclosed properties going to deed (final resolution) versus those being withdrawn is unsettling.

“In the past … I was seeing 75 to 80 percent being withdrawn and 15 to 25 percent going to the banks or a third-party buyer. Typically, withdrawal happens in the first two to six months. The trend is down in withdrawals and up in deeds. Many more people are just letting their houses go.”

A new trend emerged just this week, Whiddon said.

“Two of three coming in is commercial, not residential,” she said. “It’s not huge numbers — it’s a dozen, but we’re seeing more (limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships).”

Looking into 2011, Bishop said the banks are under increasing pressure to renegotiate the terms of home mortgages to make it possible for homeowners to stay in their homes and remain current with their payments.


kathy foos 6 years, 4 months ago

If people really care about unfortunates loosing single family homes,I think a good solution would be to help people find jobs so that they dont go into forclosure.Maybe if Visa workers were not so prevalant,there would be more jobs for locals.I have been out of work since summer and applied to over two hundred jobs and with ski season here,still am not hired.I may not be the best worker,but I want to work badly.Never before have I had trouble getting a job at least ski season.Im wondering about how the Steamboat employers justify bringing people from all over the world to work here,when so many of us are out of work?As I understand the visa law,its supposed to be for extra needed workers,not just bring them in over locals.At some point something needs to be done to stop this .Not only that, but more and more employers are refusing to take taxs out on employees that they do hire,its cash.I have always thought that was illegal.Common place now and no one makes them pay taxs,so therefore a worker must loose an income tax return as they have no W2.Towns turn their heads the other way and allow businesses to thrive that wont conform to tax law.I suppose a person could start reporting people to the labor board,I really dont know what could be done.Its not fair. I also know that Im the bad guy to many for saying anything about it.Two weeks ago I had a interview for housekeeping job and the first thing that the interviewer stated was,"I have read your comments in the pilot"She was from another country,never heard another word from them.This would bring a person to think that they should shutup in the paper,but I cannot seem to manage that.Six months of looking for a job beats you down.Ill make it,sure enough,but shame on you people that are costing local their homes in the name of visa workers.Just one major question,WHY???


Scott Wedel 6 years, 4 months ago

Kathy, I do not intend to criticize you personally, but I note the "I may not be the best worker" comment.

There are people that are great workers that are not getting enough hours or have even been laid off. I have seen great workers able to find jobs. It is tough, but not impossible. I think the issue is not visa workers, but the willingness of the person to be a great worker that always shows up on time and ready to work that then puts out effort and has enough intelligence to do what the employer wants done.

I've seen other people that are not great workers whom have previously been able to get enough work that are now getting shut out. Or if they get a job then they are being let go quickly because employers do not need to deal with not great workers.

It appears to me that currently if someone wants a steady job in this area then it is important to be in the mindset of being the best worker. I think it is currently reasonable to expect every job applicant to claim they are a great worker and to expect that level of performance. These tough times require the not great workers need to at least act like great workers while at work.

As for your comments in the paper, if I was hiring then I'd be less concerned that you post than how you seem to write and then post apparently without rereading or editing your comments. Your post is not well organized and includes comments such as "from another country" that suggests you have issues with foreign born US citizens and then you threaten to report employers that you think are violating labor laws. Those sort of comments are not what would be expected of a great worker.


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