Friday, August 26, 2011

Illinois Foreclosure Home Sales and Discounts Increase

The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday on new data from RealtyTrac which found that price discounts for Chicagoland homes sold while in some stage of foreclosure reached near all time lows.  These homes in foreclosure made up 37.6% of sales in the Chicago metropolitan area, which includes Oak Park, River Forest, and surrounding communities.  The average discount price for these sales was nearly 50%.  Our Oak Park foreclosure lawyers understand that local community members may be interested in these sales figures as they consider their options while in foreclosure.

The raw figures indicate that over 8,600 homes in foreclosure were sold in our area in the last quarter.  That is up from last quarter but down nearly 8% from this time last year.  The average sale price of a home in foreclosure was slightly over $135,000, which is 50% less than the average sale price of homes not in foreclosure.  Chicagoland had more foreclosure sales and steeper discounts when compared to the rest of the state.  Similarly, nationwide only 31% of sales were of foreclosed homes, and the average discount in those cases was only 32.1%.  This means that foreclosure sales seem to be more prevalent in our area than in other parts of the country.

These figures indicate that there are bargains available for new homebuyers and potential challenges for those looking to sell while not in foreclosure.  For residents in our area facing an Oak Park foreclosure, this data suggests that lenders may be becoming more willing to approve a short sale. 

When working with clients in our Chicagoland foreclosure defense practice, we often learn about families whose homes are underwater with mortgage obligations much higher than the current value of the home.  In these situations it is often difficult for distressed homeowners to recover, because the only way they can sell the home is if it is for less than what they owe.  When a sale takes place for less than the mortgage debt it is known as a short sale.  Real estate experts believe that the recent increase in pre-foreclosure sales, steeper discounts, and shorter average selling times mean that the housing market is starting to focus on more efficiently selling distressed homes.  This may result in a more streamlined short sale process. 

All of these changes have effects on the specific options available to area residents who are struggling with their mortgage obligations. Short sales usually require approval from lenders and many residents are often unsure whether these sales are their best option.  Our attorneys have years of experience working with families in these exact situations.  We have come to understand that many distressed homeowners have more options available to them than they aware.  However, the state law in this area is frequently changing, and delay in seeking professional legal help could mean the difference between having a strong foreclosure defense under the law and waiving the right to make certain arguments.  If you are facing foreclosure in Oak Park, River Forest, or throughout the Chicago area, please get in touch with an Illinois foreclosure defense lawyer to learn about what legal options are available to you.

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