Distressing economic news seems to pour in every morning as families across the country continue to experience financial struggles. Our Oak Park foreclosure attorneys know that every day is a battle for many area residents who are trying to stay afloat by spreading dwindling resources across a growing number of obligations. Unfortunately, the total number of local community members dealing with these issues may be growing.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported late last month on the disappointing new figures released by RealtyTrac which indicate a slight uptick in the number of Chicago foreclosures in June as compared with May. June filings were 2.3% higher than in the previous month, rising to a total of 9,870 homes. These local figures are similar to those seen nationwide. Filings increased 3.6% across the country from May to June. However, it is important that these figures be kept in check with comparisons to the same time last year. There were nearly 13,500 foreclosures in our area in June of 2010—meaning that foreclosures actually dropped nearly 27% from last year’s high. Many foreclosure actions this year have been stalled because of documentation problems that affected upwards of 1 million cases nationwide.
Based on the June figures, 1 out of every 383 homes in our area is in foreclosure. The total number of bank owned properties in our area jumped 19.3% from May, but the figure is still significantly lower than it was at this time last year. While these area statistics are not encouraging, some other parts of the country are facing much starker home ownership issues. For example, in Nevada nearly 1 out of every 114 homes is currently in foreclosure—more than 350% more than in Illinois.
Foreclosure filing statistics are useful barometers for the health of the area housing market and the overall economy. However, our Oak Park foreclosure lawyers understand each individual family dealing with a foreclosure is less concerned with these figures and more concerned about how they should deal with their own financial situation. As notices pile up, many area residents often develop a sense of hopelessness about their home ownership situation.
Fortunately, in many cases the situation is not nearly as hopeless as most suspect. While challenging a bank often seems like an impossible task, many community members may have valid defenses of which they are unaware to help fight their foreclosure. No defensive strategy is the same, because no home ownership situation is identical to another. Some residents are seeking a loan modification, whiles others may be trying to execute a deed in lieu of foreclosure. A few residents may have had problems with the HAMP Process (Home Affordable Modification Program). Whatever the case, there is usually little to lose by taking advantage of the various options that exist to help owners in these situations.
We encourage all area residents in these and similar situations to consider their Oak Park foreclosure defense options. It is only by seeking out professional assistance that community members can gain a full understanding of their rights in these situations and make appropriate decisions about what is best in their particular case.