Garfield County sees increase in foreclosures |

Garfield County sees increase in foreclosures

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Garfield County Public Trustee Bob Slade isn’t concerned with the increase in foreclosures the county has seen in the first quarter of 2008, but it’s still a little early in the year.”Our numbers are up significantly over last year,” Slade said. “But I’ve not had any go to sale yet.”Through May 20, Slade has seen 45 foreclosures across the county. That’s more than half of the total 81 foreclosures for all of 2007 countywide. If things continue on the same track as the first quarter of 2008, Slade expects around 120 foreclosures for Garfield County. That would be an increase of approximately 48 percent.”That is still not very much,” Slade said. “If we were doing 200 in a year, then I would say we’ve got a problem. Now we are busy, but overall it’s not that bad.”Slade said that due to 2007’s extremely low numbers, it makes the increase seem worse than it is. And Slade said that Garfield County numbers are nothing compared to the rest of the state and other parts of the nation.”Even if we see 120 this year – that’s close to a 50 percent increase over last year – we’re still not in the dire market that the Eastern Slope is in,” Slade said.New foreclosure filings were up 23 percent in Colorado during the first quarter of 2008, compared to the same period last year, according to the Colorado Division of Housing (CDH). A report released earlier in May by CDH stated there were 11,630 new foreclosure filings during the first quarter compared to 9,443 for the same period in 2007.Statewide there was one foreclosure filing for every 159 households, with Denver metro areas and Weld County having the highest rates. Adams County had the highest rate for the first quarter of 2008, with one filing for every 86 households, the report stated.The report also tracked foreclosure sales at auction, which increased only 5 percent year-over-year during the first quarter. But, the report stated, “the small increase in sales does not necessarily indicate any dramatic decline in the number of foreclosing properties proceeding to final sale.”Slade said that of the 45 filed foreclosures this year, none has gone to sale yet. Slade said there are different statutes in foreclosures as of Jan. 1, giving the borrower more time between when the foreclosure is filed and when it proceeds to final sale. This change gives homeowners more time to get their situation in order, Slade said.”I’ve had several withdrawn already and have had none go to sale,” Slade said. “So far everything I’ve had for May has been continued to future dates.”When sales are continued to future dates it means that the borrowers may have come up with a way to pay back the money owed, but the home remains in foreclosure.With the foreclosures on the rise, home sales have plummeted over the first quarter, down 32 percent in total property transactions countywide. March alone saw a 49 percent decrease in property transactions over March 2007.Contact John Gardner:

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