Patricia A McFarland, Treasurer
House Bill #48, known as "AN ACT," was approved by the Colorado General Assembly on March 5th, 1894. "AN ACT" established the office of the Public Trustee in each county of the State of Colorado and provides a system of checks and balances between the borrower and the lender. All Deeds of Trust given to secure indebtedness on real estate shall name as trustee such Public Trustee who acts as an intermediary between the borrower and the lender.
In the metropolitan area, the Governor of Colorado appoints the Public Trustee of each county to a four-year term. In the remaining counties, the elected Treasurer of the county is also the Public Trustee for the concurrent term. The powers and duties of the office of the Public Trustee and procedures for the operation of the office are defined in Title 38 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) Volume 10. The areas covered are:
Unique among the 50 states in its public trustee/lender relationship, Colorado's foreclosure statutes, as interpreted by the courts, have provided a reasonably quick and inexpensive process for the lienor to exercise its rights and remedies, while affording the owner of the property a fair opportunity to protect his interest in the property.
For the Public Trustee to have the powers granted by statute, deeds of trust must grant such trustee an interest in the property encumbered by the Deed of Trust. Any deed of trust that names anyone other than a Public Trustee is deemed to be a mortgage for all purposes and would have to be foreclosed judicially.
Ample rights of cure and redemption are afforded to the owner of the property being foreclosed and to each junior lienor having a recorded interest in the property being foreclosed. To provide a foreclosing party certainty in its remedies, requirements and deadlines must be met by all parties or the owner's and lienor's rights will be extinguished. It is the responsibility of the Public Trustee's office to ensure that the owner's junior and lenders understand the Public Trustee's process and to ensure that party complies with the statutes.