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Foreclosure House Listings Surging Fast in Denver Suburbs

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Foreclosure house listings have been surging fast in counties outside the Denver metro area in Colorado, based on data from the Colorado Division of Housing.

Foreclosure postings rose to a record number of 46,394 last year, up from about 40,000 in 2008 and from the same number in 2007.

The county that suffered most last year was Mesa County, with filings climbing up by 175 percent and foreclosure sales soaring by 223 percent from 2008. Ryan McMaken of the state housing division, said that job losses and decreases in wages pushed a lot of homeowners into foreclosure.

The jobless rate in Colorado rose in December to 7.5 percent, a big jump from 5.8 percent in December 2008. Those who were able to retain their jobs had to accept reduced working hours or substantial pay cuts.

Some lenders have offered reprieves on monthly payments for three months, but these types of assistance were meaningless to jobless homeowners who have no sources to restore their accounts after the reprieves end.

Realtors said that the problems of exotic mortgages oftentimes can be solved by loan modifications, but the problem of unemployment is a much bigger problem.

Other counties with record growth rates in foreclosure house listings were Broomfield, Boulder, El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Larimer, which posted increases of about 18 percent from filings in 2009.

Some mountain counties, where luxury vacation homes are located, and rural counties which were previously immune to the housing crisis, have also posted foreclosures last year, indicating the severity of the recession.

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Grand Junction had the biggest job loss rate among metro areas in the country last year. Drilling operations in the area have sharply declined in 2009 due to a sharp decrease in the prices of natural gas.

Nevertheless, the counties that were hit hardest in 2008 posted lesser foreclosures last year. Foreclosure filings dropped in the counties of Arapahoe, Adams and Denver by 16 percent, 20 percent and 29 percent, respectively, last year.

The one thing that has not been occurring in substantial numbers in Colorado is strategic default. In other states, especially where price declines have been overwhelming, record numbers of mortgage borrowers have walked away and just saved their money for rent and household expenses.

In Colorado, despite growths in foreclosure house listings in some counties, home price declines have not been as deep as in other states.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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