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Colorado Springs Sees Jump in Foreclosure Filings

Foreclosure activity picked up in Colorado Springs, both in March and in the first quarter, according to a report issued Tuesday by the El Paso County Public Trustee's Office. According to the report, foreclosure filings rose 11.6 percent to 202 from February to March and were up an unsettling 30.3 percent from March 2013. As for the first quarter, the report indicated, filings rose 6.4 percent to 584 as compared with the first three months of 2013. Curiously, the uptick in foreclosures has not impacted El Paso County as a whole or the rest of the state, particularly in Northern Colorado, where foreclosures have dropped considerably over the last two years.

Despite the rising number of foreclosures in Colorado Springs, local housing experts showed little concern. While the city's economy has improved, growth has been decidedly less robust than in other parts of the state like Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. At the same time, an increase could be expected because of recent increases in homeownership. Lenders have recently begun loosening up the purse strings, and rising rents have prompted residents to buy a home simply to save money. As more home loans are originated, the potential pool of properties that can be foreclosed on rises.

While foreclosure filings have jumped, that doesn't necessarily translate to a greater loss of homes. A foreclosure filing is just the first step in a long process that ends with a foreclosure sale, when the bank actually sells the home, usually at a loss. In March, a total of 69 foreclosure sales were executed, down more than a third from March 2013's total of 106. This decline would indicate that even though more homeowners are falling behind, the majority are finding a way to work with lenders and avoid losing their homes.

April 2, 2014

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