Foreclosures slowing in Colorado metro areas, but not in Routt County

Area was slow to get into recession, could be slow to recover

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By the numbers

■ Routt foreclosure filings by year

2006: 53

2007: 47

2008: 55

2009: 195

2010: 303

■ Routt foreclosure filings by month

January 2010: 17

January 2011: 48

February 2010: 15

February 2011: 25

March 2010: 38

March 2011: 31

April 2010: 36

April 2011: 16

2010 through April: 106

2011 through April: 120

Source: Routt County

Treasurer’s Department

— Foreclosure filings are slowing in Colorado’s metropolitan counties, but the positive trend hasn’t made its way to Routt County.

Filings decreased 40 percent in metro counties in April, compared with the same month in 2010, according to information from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing. Although Routt saw a 56 percent decrease in filings in April compared with April 2010, foreclosure filings are up 13 percent year-to-date.

The DOLA information notes that filings “represent the point at which the legal foreclosure process begins” and not all filings result in the loss of a home. A foreclosure sale marks the point where the process is finished, and not all foreclosures go through to a sale.

There were 36 foreclosure filings in April 2010 in Routt, compared with 16 this April. But there have been 120 notices from January through April, compared with 106 for the same span in 2010. In metropolitan counties, foreclosures decreased 33 percent from 2010 to 2011 in January through April.

Routt County Public Trustee­ Jeanne Whiddon said she expects 2011 to mirror 2010, which set a county record of foreclosure filings at 303.

“We’re going to easily have 150 by the end of June, so that just trends us right to the 300 number,” Whiddon said.

The county’s figures don’t include the foreclosure proceedings at One Steamboat Place, she said, which are being handled mostly by the lawyers of those involved.

She noted that Routt County entered the economic downturn and the real estate bust later than the Front Range. According to DOLA, filings in metro counties peaked in mid-2009 “in response to large job losses beginning in late 2008.”

Although foreclosure filings in Routt increased in 2009, they did not peak. There were 195 foreclosure filings that year. That did mark the first year of sharp increases in foreclosure filings.

“The last 10 years we had about 50 a year and then all of a sudden, bang,” Whiddon said.

She said foreclosure filings might decrease in summer because the number of sales typically increases in the county. But Whiddon said she wasn’t seeing an overall trend reversal.

“I don’t see it recovering, certainly; I see just as many coming in,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a long, slow recovery, longer than the Front Range and other towns, just because our foreclosures began later because we’re a more affluent community.”

— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 970-871-4234 or email bterrell@SteamboatToday.com

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