One barometer of the economy is the erratic state of housing foreclosures. A basic comparison between the third quarter of 2010 and the same quarter of 2009 appears to offer some great news. Foreclosures fell more than 15 percent in that period, according to data released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing (via The Aurora Sentinel). Moreover, filings in the third quarter of this year were down 3.5 percent from the second quarter of 2010.

But as usual, the drivers of the trend are varied and cast some doubt on whether the news is really as good as it initially may seem. For one, as the Denver Business Journal points out, many major lenders have been forced to review their foreclosure paperwork before proceeding due to nationwide scandals showing that financial institutions were sloppily processing it. In addition, Colorado resurfaced yesterday on the ugly top 10 list for foreclosures across the country in a report issued by Realtytrac, notes INDenverTimes. One of every 374 households in the state has dealt with some kind of foreclosure action. And the entire nation is still being battered: “October marks the 20th consecutive month where over 300,000 U.S. homeowners received a foreclosure notice,” says James J. Saccacio, CEO at Realtytrac.