Foreclosure filings in Colorado dropped 27% to 23,338 postings in the first nine months of 2011, down from 32,009 postings a year earlier, the Colorado Division of Housing said Tuesday. In the same state, foreclosure auction sales fell 18% when comparing the first nine months of 2011 to the same period from last year. The Colorado housing division recorded 15,560 auction sales from January through September, down from 19,163 sales a year earlier. In just the third quarter, foreclosure filings fell 24.6% to 8,026 filings, compared to 10,640 foreclosure postings in 3Q of 2010. This year, foreclosure filings rose 11% from the second quarter to the third quarter, while auction sales fell 13.2% during the same time frame. "In the wake of the controversies about the processing of foreclosures that surfaced in late 2010, foreclosure totals fell off significantly. The surprising thing is that the numbers didn’t bounce back this year," said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. "We’re now likely to end this year with far fewer foreclosure filings than occurred last year, but there still may be a sizable inventory in pending foreclosures that have yet to be processed." McMaken said the Colorado areas experiencing foreclosure growth tend to be located in the mountains. "The ten counties with the highest foreclosure rates now include Summit, Grand, Gunnison, and Park counties," McMaken said. "The demand for home buying dropped off much later in the mountains than along the Front Range, and it looks like they’re still adjusting to the shift in those markets.” Write to Kerri Panchuk.