The number of foreclosure filings in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties surged in the second quarter of 2012, suggesting the troubles from the recession aren't fully purged from the real estate market.
Lenders started 336 foreclosure proceedings in the three counties during the second quarter of this year. That is up 46 filings, or 13.5 percent, from the second quarter of 2011, according to a report compiled by Garret Brandt, a land-use attorney and real estate agent. Brandt based his report on information from the public trustees of each county.
In Pitkin County, there were 34 foreclosure filings in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 31 over the same period in 2011.
In Eagle County, the foreclosure filings increased to 142 this year compared to 137 for the second quarter last year.
The biggest jump came in Garfield County, which remains plagued by the slowdown in the gas industry. There were 160 foreclosure filings in Garfield County in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 122 in the second quarter of 2011.
The pace of foreclosures had slowed in the first quarter of 2012 compared to prior quarters. It appeared that homeowners were back on their feet. The new data calls that into question and shows many homeowners are still struggling with their mortgages.
"There has definitely been an uptick in filings in the second quarter," Brandt said in an email accompanying his report.
An active second quarter pulled foreclosure filings for the year-to-date even with the first half of 2011. Through June 30, there were 57 foreclosure filings in Pitkin County compared to 59 over the same period last year.
In Eagle County the foreclosure filings are at 267 this year compared to 255 through June last year.
In Garfield County, there were 299 foreclosure filings in the first half of this year compared to 305 last year.
Brandt's report indicated the Basalt and El Jebel areas of Eagle County aren't facing as high of a rate of foreclosures at the county as a whole. There have been 29 foreclosure filings in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County so far this year. That's down 34 percent from the 44 filed in the first half of 2011.
Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and the areas in between in Garfield County aren't faring as well. There have been 116 first-half foreclosure filings in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of the county compared to 107 over the same time last year.
Pitkin and Eagle counties experienced a record year for foreclosure filings in 2010. Last year was the record in Garfield County.
A foreclosure filing doesn't always end in a foreclosure proceeding. Sometimes borrowers come up with alternative financing, such as borrowing from a family member. In rare occasions they negotiate new payment plans with the lenders. In other cases, the lender will allow the borrower to pursue a short sale, where the sale price is less than the amount of the loan.