Grand County sets foreclosure record in 2008 |

Grand County sets foreclosure record in 2008

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

Grand County, Colorado, ended 2008 with 173 foreclosed properties.

“It’s the most-ever in a year,” said Grand County Public Trustee Christina Whitmer.

Already five more have been recorded in the infant days of 2009, according to public records.

Compared to 2007, the number of foreclosures in 2008 more than tripled.

But when put in the context of the number of Grand County properties by tax notices, amounting to 28,060 including personal properties and mobile homes, there doesn’t seem to be an alarming number of foreclosures, Whitmer said.

About a quarter of the foreclosures are related to “questionable” developments, such as those built by a builder or developer under investigation for fraudulent activity.

“It’s a large (foreclosures) number because Grand County doesn’t have that many,” said County Assessor Tom Weydert.

The assessor, due to reassess property values in 2009, said property owners should not fear the residual effects from recent foreclosure sales.

“The foreclosures we’re seeing are not the norm,” he said.

“But in other parts of the state and throughout the country, if the only sales around are foreclosures, they become the norm.”

Assessors consider “distressed sales” and can disqualify foreclosures because they’re not reflective of the overall market, Weydert said.

“It’s a discussion item we assessors talk about all the time, where is that breaking point?” he said, referring to the point at which foreclosure sales do become a market norm.

It’s unknown if an ongoing foreclosure surge that lasts several years might scar reassessments beyond 2009.

“We just don’t know yet,” Weydert said.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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