Thursday, July 18, 2013

Foreclosure Filings at Lowest in Six Years

For several months, the housing market has shown signs of recovery.  According to a recent article in, “foreclosure activity was sluggish in June,” falling 14 percent since May and a whopping 35 percent since June 2012.
Just a few months ago, we reported that foreclosure auctions were on the rise on Cook County.  Moreover, some commentators suggest that signs of housing recovery are only temporary.  So what does the latest data mean for the foreclosure epidemic in Illinois?  It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the latest foreclosure news, but if you have specific questions about avoiding foreclosure and staying in your home, an experienced foreclosure defense attorney can discuss your case with you today.  
Key Facts and Figures
A RealtyTrac report reveals that the 127,790 properties that received a foreclosure filing last month ranks foreclosure activity at its lowest since December 2006.  And it doesn’t look like the number of June foreclosure filings is an anomaly.  In fact, the year-to-date total filings number is just over 801,000, which is actually down 23 percent from the same period last year.
In addition to the decrease in foreclosure filings, it also looks like foreclosure starts are rapidly falling.  According to RealtyTrac, they’ve decreased by 45 percent year-over-year in June.  Now, they’re at the lowest level we’ve seen since December 2005.  The number of foreclosure starts itself isn’t too encouraging—it’s likely that 2013 will see more than 800,000 of them.  However, that number looks good when we compare it to the 1.1 million foreclosure starts in 2012.
While fewer properties faced foreclosure, the number of foreclosure auctions rose in judicial states, according to  The statistics show that foreclosure auctions “jumped 34 percent in June compared to a year ago.”  By state, New Jersey jumped by 103 percent, Florida by 100 percent, Maryland by 94 percent, New York by 66 percent, and Illinois by 65 percent.  So does that 65 percent increase mean that there are more financially stable homeowners in Illinois than last year?
What Do the Recent Statistics Mean?
The increase in judicial foreclosure auctions indicates first and foremost that previously delayed foreclosures “are now being moved more quickly through to foreclosure completion,” according to Daren Blomquist, the vice president of RealtyTrac.  According to Blomquist, as home prices continue to rise in Illinois and throughout the United States, lenders are recognizing that it’s an “opportune time” to “dispose of these distressed properties.”
The Chicago Tribune echoed these sentiments, making clear that the statistics mean improvement in the Illinois real estate market.  Emphasizing that the “local numbers” in Chicago “mirror national trends,” the article stressed that those figures “point to continued improvement in the housing market.”  In the Chicago area specifically, the number of initial foreclosure filings dropped dramatically while the “number of homes scheduled for court-supervised foreclosure auctions soared.”  In fact, 5,674 foreclosures were set for auction this past month in the Chicago area alone.  That number is up from 3,181 properties in June 2012.  
In short, the housing market does seem to be improving.  But there are still many families in our state who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.  If you or a loved one have questions about making your mortgage more affordable and remaining in your home, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed foreclosure defense lawyer.
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