Homes lost at fast rate in 2010

Foreclosures surpass '09 total

The number of foreclosure filings in Mesa County this year already has exceeded the filings for all of 2009, as homeowners continue to struggle to make mortgage payments in the face of high jobless rates and a slow recovery from the recession.

As of Friday, the Mesa County Public Trustee’s Office had processed 1,305 foreclosure filings this year, topping the 1,291 filings last year.

Public Trustee Paul Brown delivered the grim news to county commissioners Monday as part of his third-quarter report. He said his office is handling 40 to 45 foreclosures a week, and he predicted the county will top 1,600 filings this year.

Two years ago, there were 469 foreclosure filings in the county.

“I wish I could tell you it’s getting better,” Brown told commissioners.

But in fact, he said, the high volume of filings is forcing him to hire more employees and pay more overtime. Through the end of September, his office had spent more than $194,000 on salary and benefits, a 21 percent jump over the same time last year.

Overall, Brown said he expects his office to spend $330,000 to $340,000 this year compared with $256,000 last year.

Brown said most foreclosed homes are shuttled back to the banks, who are then dumping them back into the market and on Realtors who are selling them at a discount rate.


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