Foreclosure sales soar in Mesa County
November 20, 2009
A troubled regional housing market recorded a 213 percent spike in foreclosure sales as homeowners continued to abandon their properties in record fashion.The Colorado Division of Housing reported foreclosure sales in Mesa County increased to 100 in the three months ending Sept. 30. That was up from 32 sales in the same three months of 2008.The most recent percentage increase was the highest in the state for metropolitan counties.The Mesa County housing market also posted the highest increase for filings in the third quarter as those claims leaped 222 percent.”I have to think that a lot of these folks are just losing their jobs,” said David Durham, a real estate agent with Bray & Co. in Grand Junction. “They have hung on for as long as they can.”Durham, a 28-year industry veteran, said that he handles a “good number of foreclosure properties” for Fannie Mae and he has not seen levels this high in the area since the mid-1980s.”I have had more than I ever had,” he said.Statewide foreclosure filings increased to 35,112 in the third quarter from 29,852 in the same period last year. On a brighter note foreclosure sales fell to 14,971 from 16,265 at the same time.Data reflects the most populous counties in the Centennial State.Looking ahead, in Mesa County, the situation appears grim as evidenced by a steep rise in activity last month. Filings surged 275 percent in October when compared with October 2008.The increase in filings has prompted more calls to the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline, said manager Stephanie Riggi.The hotline – 877-601-4673 – is a free service established about three years ago to assist homeowners.”The challenge we are experiencing is we don’t have enough counselors in those areas to meet demand. We are trying,” she said.The foreclosure process generally begins when a borrower is three months behind in his or her payments. At that point the lender typically filed a notice of election and demand with the public trustee’s office of the county in which the property sits.Data are based on foreclosure information reported by the public trustee’s office in each county.Reach Wyatt Haupt Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.