Garfield County foreclosure numbers continue to worsen

Garfield County’s foreclosure filings are on pace to set a record for a third year in a row.

Through Aug. 2, 422 filings had been made in the county this year, compared with 408 that were filed for all of 2009, which set a record. That amount was almost quadruple the 108 filed the year before that.

Last year, the number grew to 644. Bob Slade, the county’s chief deputy public trustee, said the county is on pace for 716 filings this year.

“It’s still an increase but not the dramatic increase we had a year ago,” he said.

But Slade said the actual figure could reach 750 or 800, in part because filings tend to pick up in the fall. Also, he said public trustees were advised during a state association meeting that Colorado and other states may see a fall uptick in foreclosure actions by some lenders after a delay caused by a need to review mortgage paperwork.

Lenders have foreclosed on $159 million worth of loans in the county so far this year.

By ZIP code, the average loan foreclosure amount ranged from $530,000 in the Carbondale area to $170,000 for rural county properties near De Beque. However, some averages can be skewed by high-dollar commercial foreclosures.

The Rifle area leads in the number of foreclosure filings, with 113, followed by New Castle, 90; Glenwood Springs, 76; Carbondale, 60; Silt, 41; Parachute/Battlement Mesa, 34; rural De Beque, 2; and rural Gypsum, 2.

Garfield County’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in May was 9.3 percent, compared to a statewide rate of 8.5 percent. The county’s rate was down from 9.4 percent the previous month and 10.3 percent in May 2010.

Slade doesn’t have a sense of when Garfield County might start to see the foreclosure slowdown being experienced on the eastern half of the state.

“I haven’t heard of anybody saying that we’ve reached the top of it yet. I’m hoping we’re getting there. But who knows?” he said.


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