Mesa County foreclosures up at year’s end, down for all of 2011

Foreclosures in Mesa County trended down in 2011 below 2010 levels, but they took a sudden jump as the year closed, when the Mesa County Public Trustee’s Office logged 179, up sharply from the 101 in November.

“Suddenly we took a bounce,” Public Trustee Paul Brown said.

It’s possible, but by no means certain, that the first of foreclosures tainted by the robo-signing of documents has hit in Mesa County, Brown said.

“They’ve been warning us about them for some time,” Brown said.

“Robo-signing” refers to practices by some bank officials to sign large numbers of foreclosure documents without reading them, sometimes outside the presence of the people who were to notarize them. Many of those documents were found to have been forged or the result of fraud.

Several banks halted foreclosures to deal with cases involving allegations of robo-signing, but many of them are expected to begin moving through the foreclosure system at some point.

2011’s previous high months were 118 foreclosures in April and 113 in September, Brown noted.

Overall, the trend had been down, with the last quarter of 2011 accounting for 357 foreclosures, down from 454 in the fourth quarter of 2010, Brown said. The foreclosure rate was better in 2011, “but not as good as we would like it to be,” he said.



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