Foreclosures in Colorado have fallen to their lowest levels since the third quarter of 2008 and have fallen nearly 35 percent below 2009’s third-quarter total when filings peaked at more than 12,000, the state of Colorado Division of Housing said today.

A doorknob of a home for sale is secured with a realtor's lock in a Henderson, Colorado neighborhood in this file photo. (Getty Images North America | Chris Hondros)

New foreclosure filings fell to 8,115 in Colorado during 2011’s first quarter, falling 27 percent from 2010’s first-quarter total of 11,136.

According to the report released Thursday by the division, foreclosure sales at auction, the event that completes the foreclosure process, also dropped during the first quarter, falling 16 percent from 6,686 to 5,606, year-over-year, for the first quarter.

“Mortgage services and lenders continue to process foreclosures at an unusually slow rate, and although we expected foreclosure activity to drop in the first quarter, it fell more than expected,” said Ryan McMaken, Division of Housing spokesman. “That gives us hope for the future, but right now, foreclosure sales at auction aren’t going away.”

McMaken said that while several Colorado regions saw improvement during the first quarter, some parts of the state continued to see foreclosure growth.

All 12 of the state’s metropolitan counties reported drops in foreclosure filings during the first quarter of 2011.

But the story was different for some Western Slope and mountain counties where a rise in foreclosures was experienced.

From the first quarter of 2010 to the same period this year, filings in Garfield County rose 26 percent. They also rose 37 percent in Alamosa County and 29 percent in Delta County.

“The Western Slope and the mountains in Colorado are still growth areas for foreclosures,” McMaken said. “Mesa County finally saw some relief this past quarter with a drop in foreclosure filings, but places like Eagle, Garfield and Montrose (counties), we’re seeing both increasing numbers, and some of the higher foreclosure rates overall.”

Along the Front Range, Adams County filings fell 31 percent and Denver County fell 41 percent.

McMaken said most of the state’s 64 counties reported year-over-year declines in foreclosure filings.

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