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No Home for the Holidays: Chicago Foreclosures Continue

The holidays are a time for most families to gather together in the family home and enjoy some good food and company. Unfortunately, many Chicago-area residents are now facing the real possibility they may be without a home. An increasing number of properties in some Chicago areas have been sent to court-ordered auctions.

Cook County foreclosure activity increased by 20 percent last month, even though the foreclosure rate dropped on the national level and in a majority of Chicago-area counties. The increase has largely been attributed to the fact that there has been a 57 percent rise in Cook County homes heading to court-ordered auctions. DuPage County also experienced a 41 percent rise in auction notice filings.

Why are so many homes reaching the auction stage? The foreclosure moratoriums that were put in place last year during investigations about mortgage servicers' practices are now lifted. This has cleared the way for a backlog of foreclosure cases to progress through the system.

James Saccacio of RealtyTrac explained, "Scheduled foreclosure auctions reached a nine-month high in November, corresponding to a recent surge in default notices that began back in August."

The entire state of Illinois continues to struggle with high numbers of foreclosures. Over 12,300 property owners received foreclosure filings in November, placing Illinois in fourth place nationally for the most foreclosure activity. Of those, 3,798 represented notices of court-ordered auctions.

Hopefully this latest surge of cases going through the foreclosure process will be one of the last.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Foreclosure activity slips in much of Chicago area, nationwide, Mary Ellen Podmolik, 16 December 2011

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