The Office of the El Paso County Public Trustee has released its report for December 2018, showing it released 2421 deeds of trust last month — 21 percent fewer than in November, and the lowest monthly total since February 2015.

The annual total for releases was 36,989, the report showed, down 13 percent from the previous year.   

In December, the public trustee’s office started 55 foreclosures — 12 fewer than November, and the lowest monthly total since September 2000.

According to the report, the annual total for foreclosure starts was 908, down 17 percent from the previous year and the lowest annual total since 1998 (when the county’s population was about 30 percent less than it is now).

“Going a bit deeper into the 2018 foreclosure trends, we also see that a much smaller proportion of these foreclosure starts are resulting in a sale at auction,” El Paso County Public Trustee Thomas Mowle said in an emailed statement. “From 2008-2015, about half of the foreclosures started in each year ended up going to sale, with the other half being withdrawn by the lender. This shifted a little bit in favor of withdrawals in 2016, with 54% having been withdrawn and 4% still open.

“Of foreclosures started in 2017, 66% have been withdrawn and 27% have gone to sale, with another 7% open. Of foreclosures started in 2018, 46% have been withdrawn, only 12% have gone to sale, and 42% remain open (many of which have not yet reached their first possible sale date). Among these withdrawals, we are also seeing more defaults cured by the borrower: there were 127 cures in 2018, a third more than the 92 in 2017 despite the much smaller number of foreclosures open.”

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Foreclosures by zip code

The report includes foreclosures by zip code.  

“This should of course be read with the recognition that foreclosures are less than 20% of what they were at their recent peak,” Mowle said, “so the density of foreclosure starts even in the areas that have the highest numbers is on par with the areas that had the lowest density of foreclosure starts 10 years ago.”

In 2018, the zip code with the highest density of foreclosures was 80808 (Calhan/Ellicott), at 1.1 percent.

Other areas with relatively more foreclosure starts were 80817 (Fountain), 80831 (Falcon/Peyton), 80925 (Lorson Ranch/Cuchares Ranch/The Glen), and 80911 (Security/Widefield), Mowle said.  

“If we include the zip codes with fewer than 500 residences, all the relatively high foreclosure densities are in the Fountain Valley and the eastern part of the County,” he said.

In 2018, the report showed, the zip code with the lowest density of foreclosures was 80819 (Green Mountain Falls), at 0 percent. Other areas with relatively fewer foreclosure starts were 80106 (Elbert/Black Forest), 80132 (Monument/Woodmoor), 80809 (Cascade/Chipeta Park), and 80921 (Northgate/Gleneagle).

Other annual data and 2018 financials will be reported next month.