Public trustee Jeanne Whiddon reports foreclosures in Routt County are trending below 2011's level.

Photo by Bridget Manley

Public trustee Jeanne Whiddon reports foreclosures in Routt County are trending below 2011's level.

Routt County's 2012 foreclosure filings trending lower than 2011

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March 31, 2012: Foreclosure filings are on decline in Routt County

— Despite a burst of activity in July, the pace at which foreclosure notices are being filed in Routt County suggests the final 2012 total will be well below the 306 filed in 2011.

Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon said Routt County is on track to see about 250 of the foreclosure filings technically referred to as notices of election and demand, or NEDs. They do not signify that someone has lost their property but rather that the holder of the note has begun the foreclosure process. Many NEDs are cured or withdrawn before the property goes to a bank sale.

Whiddon said the pace of new NEDs continued at about 20 per month through the first six months of 2012 before uncharacteristically increasing to 37 in July.

“July was an aberration,” Whiddon said. “It really was wild. Then it seemed to settle down, and August has been more in keeping with the first six months.”

Year to date, there have been 166 NEDs filed, Whiddon said. Of those, 32 have been withdrawn, and the files on two more reflect that the note holder intends to withdraw the notice of election and demand.

Research by Stan Urban, of Land Title Guarantee Co., suggests that the local real estate market is absorbing a good portion of bank-owned properties.

Relying on documents on file at the Routt County Courthouse, he determined that 17 sales of bank-owned properties took place in July, with the lowest-priced home selling for $56,000 and the most expensive for $1.01 million. Looked at in another way, that million-dollar home on Montview Lane sold for less than $200 per square foot.

June saw 30 sales of bank-owned homes, but that figure was inflated by the auction of luxury condominiums at Trailhead Lodge near the base of Steamboat Ski Area. Of the 30 sales in June, 26 were for homes in multifamily projects.

May saw the sale of 11 foreclosed properties.

Whiddon pointed out that although the trend on new foreclosure filings seems to be improving this year, if the number fell to 250 it still would be a large number compared to the historic average. Routt County saw about 50 NEDs filed annually during the 10 years before the national housing bubble burst.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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