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Public Trustee Foreclosure Files, 1895-1937

Identifier: Series-164

Scope and Contents

The Foreclosure Files generally include the Deed of Trust; Notice of Election and Demand; newspaper clipping and publisher affidavits or receipts; undelivered notices; registered mail receipts; Certificate of Sale; and any correspondence between parties. Files may also include: an Abstract of Title; interest coupons; tax notices; tax payment receipts; Certificate of Redemption; Certificate of Purchase; and miscellaneous notes and court papers.

In most cases, the earliest date in the date range noted for each file is the date of the Deed of Trust while the latest date is the date of sale.

The majority of the files were originally received with documents tri-folded in cardboard containers. The container listed the name of the Grantor and a number. There was no name index to explain the numbers so the documents were removed from the cardboard containers, flattened, and filed alphabetically by Grantor name in acid-free folders. The archivist felt this was necessary in order to facilitate access. The containers were photocopied if they contained any further notations.

The accretion from the Foothills Genealogical Society was received after the original collection was processed so those files were added physically to another box at the end. However, they were added to the finding aid in correct alphabetical order.


  • Record Keeping: 1895-1937

Conditions Governing Access

Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.

Biographical / Historical

House Bill 48, known as “An Act,” was approved by the Colorado General Assembly on March 5, 1894. This act established the Office of the Public Trustee in each county of the State of Colorado. In the larger, metropolitan areas of the state, the Governor appoints the Public Trustee of each county to a four-year term. In the remaining counties, the elected Treasurer also acts as Public Trustee for the concurrent term. The powers and duties of the Office of the Public Trustee and procedures for operation of the Office are defined by Colorado State Statute.

In 2020, the Jefferson County Treasurer once again became the Public Trustee.

Foreclosure, the forced sale of a piece of property to repay a debt, is conducted by the Office of the Public Trustee on deeds of trust containing a power of sale. For the Public Trustee to have the powers granted by statute, deeds of trust must grant the trustee an interest in the property encumbered by the Deed of Trust. The Deed of Trust is an agreement between three parties: the Grantor (owner); the Public Trustee (who has the power of sale); and the Beneficiary (lender). The Public Trustee acts as an intermediary between the borrower and the lender.

A foreclosure is started when the Office of the Public Trustee receives required documentation from the foreclosing party and records the Notice of Election and Demand in the County’s real estate records. The Notice, which gives specific information about the loan in default and establishes the time and place of sale, is published for five consecutive weeks in local newspapers. Foreclosure notices are also mailed to all parties as required by law. The homeowner is still the owner of the property through the sale and is the only one who can allow access, sell, or transfer title to the property during this time.

The redemption period follows the sale. In order to exercise their right of redemption, junior lien holders must file an Intent to Redeem with the Public Trustee’s office, and are then advised of their redemption periods. Intents to Redeem are prioritized in order of recordation. The redemption amount is the amount necessary to pay off the Deed of Trust in default.

A Public Trustee’s Deed is issued to the holder of the Certificate of Purchase (document given to the winning bidder at the sale stating their rights to the property) or the last redeeming junior lien holder after expiration of all redemption periods.

Information taken from Jefferson County and Fremont County Public Trustee websites: and accessed 11/15/2010.


8.10 Cubic Feet (18 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Case files containing foreclosure documents created and received in relation to the forced sale of property pledged as security for a debt that is in default.


Alphabetically by borrower/grantor name. The date range listed for each file reflects the actual dates of documents within the file.

Custodial History

The Public Trustee transferred seven boxes of foreclosure files (1897-1931) to the Archives in 1999. Transfer of one additional box occurred in 2007. Additionally, two containers of papers (1895- 1914) were received from the Foothills Genealogical Society in 2011. These were first acquired by the Jefferson County Public Library in the 1980s when the Court was cleaning out unwanted records. The Library gave them to the Genealogical Society before the County had an Archives.

Related Materials

Series 151: Public Trustee Foreclosure Registers; Series 152: Public Trustee Registers of Releases; Series 153: Public Trustee Record of Election and Demand

Processing Information

Processed by Ronda Frazier in October 2010. Revised September 2012.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Jefferson County Archives Repository

3500 Illinois Street
Suite 2350
Golden CO 80401 United States