El Paso County followed the 2018 national foreclosure trend, reaching its lowest annual total of new foreclosure filings since 1998.

The yearly total (908) for foreclosure starts in the county was down 17 percent from 2017, according to the El Paso County Public Trustee Monthly Report for December 2018.

Last month, the county’s public trustee office started 55 foreclosures, which was 12 fewer than in November and the lowest monthly total since September 2000.

Additionally, the office released 21 percent fewer deeds of trust (2,421) in December than the month prior. It was the lowest monthly total since February 2000.

Meanwhile, the annual total for release in the county was down 13 percent from last year at 36,989, the report stated.

“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,” the report said. “From 2008-2015, about half of the foreclosures started in each year ended up going to sale, with the other half being withdrawn by the lender.”

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Activity down nationwide

ATTOM Data Solutions released its Year-End 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report today, showing foreclosure filings nationwide, including default notices, auctions and bank repossessions, hit the lowest levels since 2005.

In 2018, foreclosure filings were reported on 624,753 U.S. properties, which was down 78 percent from the peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 and 8 percent lower than 2017.

ATTOM’s year-end foreclosure report analyzed publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings from more than 2,500 counties nationwide, with data from more than 23 million historic foreclosure filings also useable for the reporting.

The report also included data for December 2018, which saw 2 percent less properties with foreclosure filings in the U.S. at 52,069.

That number is down 19 percent from a year ago and the 6th consecutive month with year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.

“Plummeting foreclosure completions combined with consistently falling foreclosure timelines in 2018 provide evidence that most of the distress from the last housing crisis has now been cleaned up,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM, in a Thursday press release about the report. “But there was also some evidence of distress gradually returning to the housing market in 2018, with foreclosure starts increasing from the previous year in more than one-third of all state and local housing markets.

“Some of that distress was driven by natural disasters, most notably in Houston, where foreclosure starts increased 61 percent,” he said. “But natural disasters do not explain the increase in markets such as Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and Austin — all of which posted double-digit percentage increases in foreclosure starts in 2018.”

Go to to read the full Year-End 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.