GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Foreclosures have hit a record high in Garfield County, surpassing the previous peak 24 years ago in the wake of Black Sunday, when the shuttered oil shale industry leveled the county’s economy. County foreclosures have more than doubled since last year, are on pace to more than triple them by year’s end, and officials believe next year may be even worse.“If history repeats itself, we’re not going to be out of the woods yet,” said Garfield County Public Trustee Bob Slade, whose office has been hammered by a growing stack of foreclosures. “I think next year is going to be a rough year.” Garfield County has seen 316 foreclosures this year. That’s more than the 244 foreclosures it saw in 1985, the last record peak. Slade predicts foreclosures will exceed 350 by year’s end, more than tripling last year’s 108 foreclosures. Slade said he worries next year could be worse,though, based on the county’s experience in the oil shale bust. Exxon closed its western Colorado plant in 1982 on a date remembered as Black Sunday, but the foreclosures didn’t peak until 1985. If the same holds true in this recession, he said, foreclosures may continue to rise, despite whatever recovery may occur.
By David Frey, Nov 2, 2009 Aspen Daily News

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