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Foreclosures drop to lowest levels

It's been a decade since monthly single-digit foreclosures were the norm, but 2014 managed to produce a few months to match those small figures. After staggering and historic numbers of foreclosures in Crow Wing County during the Great Recession,...

It's been a decade since monthly single-digit foreclosures were the norm, but 2014 managed to produce a few months to match those small figures.

After staggering and historic numbers of foreclosures in Crow Wing County during the Great Recession, the number of people losing their homes in the aftermath of the financial crisis has steadily decreased since 2010.

In 2010 - the worst year for foreclosures - 388 homeowners lost their homes. That is compared to 39 foreclosures all year in 2001. With just hours left in 2014, the number of foreclosures for the year in the county stood at 134.

In 2013, the county had already reached 134 foreclosures by August. Between 2008 and 2012, the county was surpassing 134 foreclosures by April or May. The Minnesota Homeownership Center reports the number of homes in the state lost to foreclosure by the first half of the year fell 36 percent when comparing 2014 to the same period in the previous year. Statewide, there were 4,375 foreclosures in the first half of the year.

"To put these numbers in perspective, there were more foreclosure sales in just Hennepin and Ramsey counties in the first half of 2010, than in the entire state for the first half of 2014," said Ed Nelson, marketing and communications manager for the Minnesota Homeownership Center in a news release. And the number of pending notices, or foreclosures in the works, fell to 5,647 for the "second-lowest level in any quarter since the state Legislature required the notification as part of the foreclosure process in 2009," the Minnesota Homeownership Center reported. By comparison, there were 7,229 notices by the third quarter of 2013 and 10,016 in the third quarter of 2012.

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Three-quarters into the 2014, quarterly notices of a pending foreclosure were down more than 70 percent from the peak in 2010.

Since 2010, more than 209,000 Minnesotans received notices they were in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.

In Crow Wing County, foreclosure numbers jumped between 2004 and 2005, as a sign of what was to come in the housing meltdown. The Great Recession officially began in 2007. By that time, foreclosures nearly doubled in the county. Foreclosures were in double-digits, pushing nearly 60 in a single month in 2010 and 2011. Bank-owned property for-sale signs and homes marked as foreclosure sales were common sights. While conditions improved after 2010, the change was slow. In 2009, 645 homeowners in Crow Wing County received a notice of a looming foreclosure. That number decreased to 590 in 2010, fell to 479 in 2011 and continued to drop reaching 410 in 2012. The number of notices of a pending foreclosure slipped to less than 300 in 2013.

It wasn't until January of 2014 the actual number of foreclosures dipped below double-digits. There were nine.

Annual numbers show 2006 averaged 11.8 foreclosures and 2005 averaged 8.4 foreclosures per month.

"I would say consistent single digits were in 2005 and prior," said Kathy Ludenia, longtime Crow Wing County recorder.

The monthly foreclosures stayed below 20 throughout 2014, something not seen in the last eight years. The highest monthly total in 2014 arrived in February with 17. The lowest monthly total was six in August of 2014.

By the numbers

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Foreclosures in Crow Wing County by year.

• 2014* - 134.

• 2013 - 192.

• 2012 - 273.

• 2011 - 369.

• 2010 - 388.

• 2009 - 351.

• 2008 - 356.

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• 2007 - 231.

• 2006 - 142.

• 2005 - 101.

• 2004 - 68.

• 2003 - 63.

• 2002 - 60.

• 2001 - 39.

• 2000 - 43.

• 1999 - 39.

• 1998 - 44.

Source: Crow Wing County Recorder.

• Numbers for 2014 were not finalized.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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