Foreclosures on pace for nearly 40 percent rise

With 2 1/2 weeks left in the first quarter of this year, Mesa County Trustee Paul Brown estimates there could be 165 foreclosures in the county by the end of March.

That would be a jump of 39 percent from the 119 notices of foreclosure that were filed in the county in the first quarter of 2008.

As of Friday, the Trustee’s Office had 147 notices of foreclosure this quarter.

“The numbers started picking up right after the first of the year,” he said.

Brown said in his two years as Mesa County’s trustee, he has looked for trends, and found none, in the foreclosures.

He did say, though, he is starting to see higher-priced homes headed for foreclosure, some that sold for more than $500,000.

“We’ve actually had one over a million dollars,” Brown said.

Not all homes that enter foreclosure actually end in a sale. Most are averted in other ways.

Of the 119 notices of foreclosure received by the trustees office in the first quarter of 2008, only 24, or 20 percent, went to sale. So far this year, of the 147 in foreclosure, 41, or 28 percent, have been sold, Brown said.

On average, over the last two years 30 percent of the homes entering foreclosure in Mesa County have been sold, Brown said. To put an optimistic spin on things, Brown added, 50 to 60 percent of homes entering foreclosure on the Front Range end up being sold.

The state Legislature is working on a couple of bills that could provide struggling
homeowners some assistance.


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