Garfield County foreclosures continue to drop |

Garfield County foreclosures continue to drop

John Stroud
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Foreclosure filings in Garfield County continue to drop for a second straight year, following the record that was set in 2011 when 701 properties went into foreclosure during the post-recession real estate market meltdown.

Garfield County Public Trustee Bob Slade said Tuesday that his office is expecting to close out July with 184 new foreclosure filings to date for 2013.

If that same pace continues, it puts the county on track for approximately 315 foreclosures this year. That would be compared to the total of 533 foreclosures filed in 2012, and less than the 338 that had been projected for 2013 at the beginning of the year.

“Things really seem to be slowing down,” Slade said. “I’d say we’re on track for closer to 300 this year, but that can always change.”

Still, the number of foreclosures remains much higher than the pre-recession numbers, which hovered around 100 per year between 2003 and 2008, before spiking to more than 400 in 2009 and topping out two years later.

Through June this year, Garfield County had also seen 128 foreclosure filings withdrawn, which is a fairly typical number, Slade said. In 2012, a total of 221 foreclosures were withdrawn, while 206 were decided and 106 were still active at year’s end.

“A withdrawal means that, for whatever reason, the foreclosure action has stopped,” Slade said, adding that can be as a result of a short sale of the property, or because the owner was able to refinance or work things out with the lender.

Also through June, the county still had 218 active foreclosures in process. Withdrawals and active cases to date include filings that carried over from previous years, not just those filed this year, he said.

Meanwhile, the Garfield County Housing Authority continues to partner with the Grand Junction Housing Authority to provide foreclosure prevention counseling in the county.

“We do have someone available every Friday, who helps people with advice on how to do loan modifications, refis or short sales,” said Geneva Powell, executive director for the Garfield Housing Authority.

“Since offering that service, we have been very successful in helping to keep people out of foreclosure,” she said.

Local calls to the Foreclosure Hotline (1-877-601-4673) also now go directly to the Grand Junction office, rather than tapping into the statewide network out of Denver, she said.

“It does give people a little more personalized attention, and lets them know we will have someone in Garfield County on Fridays to talk to,” Powell said.

The Garfield Housing Authority expects to continue offering the local foreclosure prevention service again in 2014, she said.

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