If the current foreclosure trend holds in Colorado, 2009 could prove to be a record year, beating historic lows in 2007.
Ryan McMacken of the Colorado Division of Housing says in 2007 there were 39,000 foreclosures, he estimates 2009 will end with a significant increase from 2007.
"At the pace we're going for this year we'll almost certainly have more than 40,000 for the year, probably up [to] more than 42,000, 43,000," he said. "So, there's plenty of new people entering the foreclosure process right now."
Across the country, the Mortgage Bankers Association says more than 14 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of September. For a ninth straight quarter, the number hit a record high.
While open foreclosures are rising throughout the United States, McMacken says the number of people in Colorado actually losing their homes is going down.
"If you look at the number of foreclosures that actually proceeded all the way through the process where it was sold at auction, those numbers are going to be flat if not slightly down for the year," he said.
McMacken says 2007 saw a peak of roughly 25,000 people losing their homes and in 2008 the number dropped to about 21,000. This year's numbers will likely be at or below 21,000, according to McMacken.
The Colorado Division of Housing says the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Hotline is helping to reduce those numbers.
"The hotline doesn't really prevent people from going into foreclosure but once they do, using resources like the hotline is what allows people to take advantage of loan modifications and learn how to do short sales and do whatever is necessary to preserve whatever equity they might have in their home and avoid having a foreclosure on their credit report," McMacken said.
Since starting in 2006, the toll-free hotline has helped roughly 13,000 Colorado homeowners avoid foreclosure in that time.
Callers are connected to some 27 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies across the state. Homeowners are routed to the agency nearest their property by entering their zip code.
The counseling does not end with a phone call. Hotline officials route the callers to agencies for face-to-face counseling and all services are free of charge.
Colorado Foreclosure Hotline 877-601-HOPE
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