Foreclosure filings in Colorado rose over last year in May while foreclosure auction sales plummeted to a five-year low with more homeowners finding an escape route before losing their homes, according to data from the Colorado Division of Housing.

The state's metropolitan counties saw foreclosure filings rise 12.8% when compared to the same month a year earlier, increasing from 2,002 to 2,259 filings.

During the same period of time, foreclosure auction sales declined 17.3%, the lowest May sales total since 2008. Last month, the state had 965 foreclosure auction sales, down from 1,167 sales a year earlier.

In the first five months of the year, foreclosure filings in Colorado rose 1.7% over the same period in 2011 while foreclosure auction sales fell 27.1%.

"Foreclosure auction sales have now been down nineteen of the last twenty months, comparing year over year, and for now, we can say that fewer people have been losing their homes to foreclosure this year when compared to other years since 2007," said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. "On the other hand, filings continue to rise, and since some of those filings will turn into re-possessed homes in the future, we can see that foreclosures haven’t gone away yet."