GarCo foreclosures hit six-year low at 150 |

GarCo foreclosures hit six-year low at 150

Property foreclosures in Garfield County reached a six-year low of 150 new filings in 2014, down from 283 the prior year and way below the record 701 foreclosures filed in the county in 2011 during the aftermath of the Great Recession.

“Statewide, we are seeing that the trend is down, which is good news,” new Garfield County Treasurer and Public Trustee Karla Bagley said this week in her first quarterly report to the county commissioners.

Foreclosures in the county spiked from 108 during 2008 to 408 the following year as the economic downturn that was blamed in part on loose home lending practices gripped Colorado and the nation as a whole.

The number of new Garfield County foreclosures rose to 644 in 2010 and peaked at 701 in 2011, before falling off again to 533 in 2012 and dropping off significantly the past two years.

Likewise, the number of bank sales related to foreclosed properties dipped below 100 in 2014, at 99. The majority of those sales occurred during the first six months of the year, according to figures contained in the quarterly report.

The number of foreclosure sales over the past five years also peaked in 2011, at 412.

For 2014, the Rifle area led the way in new foreclosures filed, at 44, followed by Parachute/Battlement Mesa with 29, Silt with 22, Carbondale with 21, Glenwood Springs with 20 and New Castle with 14.

The last time Garfield County saw a spike in foreclosures similar to what happened after the 2008 recession was following the oil shale bust in 1982 when Exxon pulled the plug on its Colony Project near Parachute, sending the Western Slope of Colorado into an economic tailspin.

Property foreclosures during that era hit a peak of 244 in 1985.

The 34-year low for foreclosures in Garfield County was 14 in 1996. However, the comparison to recent figures is skewed by the fact that there are significantly more residential and commercial properties on the books now than there were in the 1980s and ’90s. Just prior to the Great Recession, the yearly figure hovered around 100.

So far in the new year, eight new foreclosure actions have been filed. At that rate, the county would be on pace for 154 new filings this year, according to Evie Olson, chief deputy public trustee for Garfield County.

The Treasurer and Public Trustee’s Office also reports that the number of recorded releases for deeds of trust was also down last year to 2,170, compared with 3,080 in 2013.

“That’s a number we would rather see go up,” Bagley said.

Releases are processed when the terms of a loan are settled between a lender, borrower and the public trustee.

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