Monday, September 26, 2011

August Surge in Mortgage Default Warnings Could Indicate More Oak Park Foreclosures

The Chicago foreclosure lawyers at our firm have watched closely as mortgage default warnings have appeared to wax and wane throughout the last several years.  For various reasons, foreclosures from the nation’s largest banks have varied dramatically from season to season.  The robo-signing scandal that continues to be sorted out across the country temporarily put a halt to some foreclosure activity in this area.  However, it is now clear that OakPark foreclosures may again show signs of increasing.  The trend appears to be the same in the Chicago area and the rest of Illinois.

Early last week Yahoo Finance reported on the upward foreclosure trend nationwide, noting that banks sent many more warnings to homeowners in August threatening foreclosure than in previous months.  The August spike represented a 33% increase from July according to data collected by RealtyTrac, Inc.  The total number of warnings in August was the highest in nine months.  The jump from July to August was the largest single month increase in the last four years—suggesting that many banks may be poised to initiate a new foreclosure wave.

Observers indicate that this new wave may be a long-lasting trend after more than a year of foreclosure slowdowns.  As one RealtyTrac executive explained, “This is really the first time we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of new foreclosure actions.  It’s possible this is a blip, but I think it’s much more likely we’re seeing the beginning of a trend here.” 

The earlier slowdowns were largely a product of a myriad of shoddy paperwork on the part of lenders that has come to collectively be known as robo-signing.  However, other factors were at work as well.  In states were courts play a role in the foreclosure process—such as Illinois—some judges have been reluctant to move forward with foreclosure actions.  In addition, lenders had been slow to take back some properties as home sales continued to stall.  These trends now appears to be changing.  That means that many homeowners who had previously been given month, if not years, before foreclosure actions were initiated are now facing the threat of losing their homes much sooner.

The latest figures also indicate that local community members are struggling at particularly high levels.  Illinois remains one of the top ten states with the highest foreclosure rates.  For those in our area who have been struggling to keep up with mortgage payments, these latest indicators suggest that OakPark foreclosures may become more common in the coming months.  However, it is important for local families not to panic if they find themselves facing foreclosure.  While it may seem as if it is a no-win situation, options are available to help those who are struggling.  Residents simply must know where to look for that help.  Our Oak Park foreclosure defense attorneys have been helping residents in our area for years who have found themselves in this situation.

Whether you are hoping to reinstate your mortgage, sell your home in a short sale, or modify your loan, our Illinois foreclosure lawyers can help you evaluate your options and implement a defensive plan.    However, it is important to seek out professional legal help in a timely manner.  New rules in our state make it tougher to mount a reasonable defense against banks seeking foreclosure if homeowners fail to make certain legal claims early in the process.  As a result, many residents who go it alone often unwittingly waive certain rights.  Do not let this happen to you.  If you receive a mortgage default letter or are in the foreclosure process, please give our office a call and see how we can help.

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