ASPEN - The number of foreclosure filings reversed course in the Roaring Fork Valley in the third quarter of this year.
Filings during the first half of the year looked like they were going to eclipse the record pace of the first half of 2011. That led to speculation that lenders were finally getting around to lowering the boom on beleaguered homeowners who struggled through the recession to hold on to their property.
But the trend eased up in July, August and September, showing that the market remains unpredictable.
A report compiled by Garret Brandt, a real estate agent and land-use attorney, shows that new foreclosure actions are flat in Pitkin County and decreasing in the Roaring Fork Valley portions of Eagle and Garfield counties. Brandt recently moved to Texas, but he still tracks quarterly foreclosure filings using the public trustee records in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties.
His report showed that 80 foreclosure actions have been started by lenders on Pitkin County properties through September. That matches last year's pace, when 81 foreclosure actions were filed over the same period.
Pitkin County saw a record number of foreclosure filings in 2010 with 144. It eased last year to 113 filings with a total property value of $116.81 million, according to Brandt's research.
In the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, 42 new foreclosure actions have been filed so far this year. That is down 40 percent from the 71 filed last year over the same period.
The Eagle County portion of the valley includes part of Basalt, the El Jebel area, part of Missouri Heights and part of the Fryingpan Valley. A record number of foreclosures were filed in that area in 2011 with 107. Those properties had a total value of $64.56 million, according to Brandt's report.
Foreclosure filings also are falling in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Garfield County. There have been 166 filings in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and points between through September. That's down 7 percent from the 179 filed over the same period last year.
Last year was a record year for foreclosure filings in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Garfield County. There were 255 foreclosures on property with a total value of $129.67 million, Brandt's report showed.
Not all filings result in foreclosure. Property owners sometimes find a way to pay off the loan, or they make new arrangements with the lender or undertake a short sale, where they dispose of the property for less than they owe on the loan.
For all of Eagle and Garfield counties - not just the portions in the Roaring Fork Valley - foreclosure filings have slowed well behind last year's pace during the third quarter.