Foreclosures up for Garfield County this year |

Foreclosures up for Garfield County this year

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado ” In a year where housing transactions have decreased 42 percent and total dollar volume is down 36 percent through October, compared to the same period in 2007, Garfield County Treasurer Bob Slade isn’t surprised to see that Garfield County’s foreclosure filings for 2008 have increased.

But there is a silver lining, according to Slade.

“We are really about where we were at in 2003, 2004 and 2005,” Slade said. “Last year was just a really low year for us.”

Slade opened 81 residential foreclosures in 2007. Through Dec. 16, 2008, Slade has already opened 109, 28 more than the previous year.

And Slade expects to see more before the end of the year.

“I’ve seen quite a few come in December, that is pretty typical,” Slade said. “But we’re still not as bad as a lot of other places.”

According to the third-quarter foreclosure report released earlier in December by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Division of Housing, there were 6,454 new completed foreclosures during the third quarter of 2008, bringing the year’s total to 16,246. The total for the same period in 2007 was 19,025, marking a 14 percent drop statewide.

DOLA’s report predicts a 13 percent decrease for 2008 filings, down from a 2007 statewide total of 25,320.

The report listed Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson and Larimer Counties as all having increases in foreclosures from 2007. Denver County reported the largest decrease of 26 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007. Weld County, which had the highest foreclosure rate in the state for 2007, had a 20 percent decrease for the third quarter of 2008.

Garfield County had 121 foreclosures opened in 2005, 106 in 2004, and 114 in 2003. But during 2007, when the rest of the state was struggling, Garfield County was doing pretty well.

“Garfield County does typically lag behind the rest of the country,” Slade said. “We are a little slower coming into and coming out of this.”

Despite the positive news for lower foreclosure rates for the state in 2009, Slade expects to see an increase in foreclosures for Garfield County.

“It’s hard to say, but I think we will see an increase next year,” he said.

However, the good news for local homeowners is that a lot of homes still get sold before the foreclosure is complete.

“We are still seeing a lot of withdrawals before the foreclosure goes through,” Slade said.

The biggest surprise to Slade was not only the increase in residential filings, but in December he also received three foreclosures on subdivisions as well.

“Those are what we would call major development loans,” Slade said. “Developers are having problems, too. These are not the regular residential foreclosures.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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