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Foreclosure rate in Illinois still in the top 5 nationally

Thousands of homeowners who are still struggling with their mortgage loans may not believe that foreclosure rates are down nationwide. Many of those homeowners are in Illinois, which is still at the top of foreclosure rate list. Illinois and three other states still have rates above six percent. Nationwide it is estimated that approximately 20 million Americans have lost their homes during the recession.

Chicago is one of several cities that have seen a significant drop in its population since the housing market crashed. Over the past 10 years, there have been 50,000 foreclosures in Chicago alone. Along with those foreclosures, approximately 200,000 people left the area. That is a significant drop in population, and may be an indication of just how many vacant properties there are in the Chicago area alone.

What could make matters worse in Illinois is the fact that there are still approximately 2.6 million properties nationwide that are part of the "shadow inventory" of bank owned properties. This is actually approximately 20 percent lower than the amount of just two years ago. A lot of these properties have not been put on the market by lenders.

So what happens next?  Many people have theories, but no one knows for sure. There are still thousands of foreclosures going on every day. Some homeowners have managed to avoid foreclosure up to this point, but are now facing what may seem to be the inevitable. Filing bankruptcy may help some of those people. Others may need professional advice and assistance in figuring out what to do next.

Source:, "What Have We Learned from the Great Home Real Estate Recession?" Peter Fugiel, Aug. 5, 2013

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