RealtyTrac: Colorado foreclosures declining

Date: Jun. 16th, 2009
Contact: Mark Hayden

Colorado had 11.3 percent fewer home foreclosures in May than in April, and 15 percent fewer than the previous May, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday.

Even so, Colorado climbed in RealtyTrac's foreclosure ranking of the states, to No. 8 in May from No. 9 in April and No. 10 in March, because by its reckoning, other state's foreclosure rates declined more rapidly than Colorado's.

A total of 4,876 Colorado properties were in foreclosure in May, or one for every 436 households, said RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based marketer of foreclosed properties. That was down from 5,495 foreclosure properties in April, or one per every 387 households.

Colorado's foreclosure-per-households ratio was better than the national average of one per 398, RealtyTrac said. It said 321,480 U.S. properties were in foreclosure in May, down 6 percent from April.

Nevada again had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in May, RealtyTrac said, with one in every 64 households in some stage of the foreclosure process. It was followed by California, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho and Ohio.

Nationwide, "May foreclosure activity was the third highest month on record, and marked the third straight month where the total number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 — a first in the history of our report," James Saccacio, RealtyTrac CEO, said in a statement Thursday.

"While defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions, or REOs, were up 2 percent thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York," Saccacio said.

He said the company expects bank repos to spike in the coming months "as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws come to an end."

Colorado officials -- as well as local members of the real estate industry -- have long disputed the state's high position on RealtyTrac's monthly lists, arguing that its foreclosures are overcounted partly because Colorado's public trustees report foreclosures at each stage of the process.

RealtyTrac officials have said that their methodology is fair.

Colorado ranked first on RealtyTrac's monthly list for most of 2006. But Nevada moved into the top spot in 2007 and has held it ever since.

Colorado ranks lower in foreclosures on other lists, including the Mortgage Bankers Association's quarterly delinquency survey.

The most recent MBA report, for the first quarter of 2009, released May 28, showed that Colorado ranked 41st among the states in past-due mortgages, and 26th in foreclosures started.

RealtyTrac's data for the first quarter of 2009 showed Colorado had the 12th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation for that three-month period.