Chicago Foreclosure Rate Falls

August 11, 2011

The amount of Chicago-area homes in the foreclosure process dropped almost 46 percent in July compared to the same month last year.

Though experts mostly attribute the drop to a delay in processing due to the robo-signing controversy, we still view the decline in the number of Chicago real estate properties in foreclosure as a step in the right direction.

According to RealtyTrac, 9,395 homes in the Chicago area received a foreclosure filing in July. That comes out to one in every 403 homes. It’s a marked improvement from the whopping 18,732 homes that received a filing in July 2010. It’s also a 4.8 percent decrease from the 9,870 in June 2011.

For Sale sign with BANK OWNED on top.In Cook County alone, 5,368 homes were in some stage of foreclosure in July. That equates to one in every 408 homes.

Illinois ranked ninth in the country in the rate of foreclosure filings last month. Statewide, 10,627 Illinois homes were in some stage of foreclosure in July, or one in every 498 homes. That’s a 45.8 percent decline from July 2010 and a 3.5 percent drop from June 2011.

Our state did see a spike in real estate owned (REO) activity, as the number of bank-owned properties in Illinois rose 20 percent from June to July.

Nationally, RealtyTrac reported that 212,764 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing in July, a 35.6 percent decline from last July and a 4.5 percent drop from the previous month. The numbers come out to one in every 611 U.S. homes in some stage of foreclosure.

The data marks the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year declines and the lowest number of homes in foreclosure in almost four years.

Las Vegas continues to lead the country with the highest foreclosure rate, where one in every 99 homes were hit with a foreclosure filing in July.

“July foreclosure activity dropped 35 percent from a year ago, marking the 10th straight month of year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity and the lowest monthly total since November 2007,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

“This string of decreases was initially triggered by the robo-signing controversy back in October 2010, which forced lenders to substantially slow the pace of foreclosing, but the downward trend in foreclosure activity has now taken on a life of its own.

“It appears that the foreclosure processing delays, combined with the smorgasbord of national and state-level foreclosure prevention efforts — including loan modifications, lender-borrower mediations and mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed — may be allowing more distressed homeowners to stave off foreclosure.”

Saccacio said the housing market will continue to struggle “into 2012 and beyond,” and that a stabilized economy and improved job market are necessary for a full recovery.

Tell us something we don’t know.

Meanwhile, there are foreclosure prevention events taking place around the Chicago area on August 17, 18, 20 and 24. Stay tuned to Chicagoland Real Estate Forum for details on each.

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