Chicago Area Among Nation’s Worst for Mortgage Delinquencies

May 17, 2011

Chicago real estate owners are hurting.

According to a 2011 first-quarter credit report, more homeowners in the Chicago area were behind on their mortgage payments than in the state of Illinois or even the country as a whole.

According to the credit reporting firm TransUnion, the national mortgage delinquency rate, which includes borrowers who are 60 days or more past due on their payments, fell for the fifth straight quarter, dropping to 6.19 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

house on a calendar with the words PAST DUEU.S. mortgage delinquencies were expected to remain flat, but the data actually shows the rate improving more this quarter (down 3.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010) than last quarter (down only 0.5 percent from the third quarter of 2010).

“While many homeowners still face pressure to make ends meet, they have lived in their homes for a long time and have diligently been paying their mortgage each month,” said Tim Martin, a TransUnion group vice president. “These are borrowers that have roots in their residential neighborhoods and may already have substantial equity invested.”

The Chicago area is another story.

Chicago-based TransUnion reported that close to 7.75 percent of all Chicago-area homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments after the first quarter of this year. That’s up from 7.65 percent after the last quarter of 2010.

In Illinois, 6.5 percent of all homeowners were 60 days or more past due on their mortgages in the first quarter. That’s also an increase, up from 6.45 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“There were not many states that went up, and Illinois is one of them,” said Tim Martin, a TransUnion group vice president. “Chicago didn’t do that well relative to some of the other metro areas.”

Economists believe that as the unemployment rate declines, fewer homeowners would fall behind on their mortgage payments.

In the Chicago area, unemployment was at 9.4 percent in January, 9 percent in February and 8.7 percent in March. We are following that national trend. So, why aren’t Chicago-area homeowners following suit?


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