Mesa County foreclosures: good news and more bad

Property foreclosure filings dropped slightly in Mesa County during the second quarter of 2010 even as the increase in foreclosure sales was the smallest in a year.

Nonetheless, foreclosure activity has continued to accelerate over the past year to one of the fastest paces among the most populous counties in Colorado.

According to figures compiled by the Colorado Division of Housing, 370 foreclosure filings were reported in Mesa County during the second quarter of 2010. That was down nearly 7 percent from the 397 filings reported in the first quarter and the lowest level since the second quarter of 2009.

At the same time, foreclosure sales rose nearly 8 percent — 278 in the second quarter of 2010 compared to 258 in the first quarter, although the quarterly increase was the smallest in a year.

Filings indicate how many foreclosure proceedings have been initiated. Sales indicate how many foreclosures have been completed with ownership reverting to the lender or passing to third party. Sales typically lag about six to eight months behind filings.

Comparing the second quarter of 2010 with the same quarter in 2009, filings increased 40 percent in Mesa County, the only increase among the 12 most populous counties in Colorado. Meanwhile, foreclosure sales skyrocketed nearly 380 percent.

A total of 767 filings were reported in Mesa County for the first half of 2010, a nearly 75 percent increase over the first half of 2009. A total of 536 sales were reported in the first half of 2010, a 425 percent increase over the first half of 2009.

The foreclosure rate as measured by the number of households per completed foreclosures stood at 205 in Mesa County during the second quarter of 2010. That tied with Adams County for the second-highest rate among the most 12 most populous counties. Weld County topped the list with 192 households for every foreclosure.

Statewide, new foreclosure filings dropped to 10,233 in the second quarter of 2010, down nearly 16 percent from a year ago and the lowest level in five quarters.

“We think this constitutes a future downward trend,” said Pat Coyle, director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that in Colorado at least, new foreclosure filings are inching down in spite of a steady unemployment rate.”

At the same time, though, foreclosure sales rose to 5,885 during the second quarter of 2010, up nearly 18 percent from a year ago.

For the first half of 2010, filings were down almost 6 percent, but sales were up more than 34 percent.

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