Friday, May 4, 2018

Pushing Back Against Foreclosure in Cook County

Regardless of how the economy looks in general, any individual or family can be at risk of foreclosure after dealing with the unexpected loss of a job or an unforeseen medical emergency. Losing your job or dealing with the declining health of a loved one can mean that you are having difficulty making mortgage payments and could be at risk of losing your house. According to a recent article in Chicago Now, despite recent positive trends in the number of foreclosures in Chicagoland over the last several months, foreclosure activity in general “moved in the wrong direction in March.”
While homeowners struggle with making mortgage payments, Cook County is also making new efforts to improve neighborhoods that have been negatively affected by foreclosure. What do you need to know about the increased rate of foreclosure activity combined with new efforts to improve the real estate market?
Nationwide Foreclosures are Declining, but Not Necessarily in Chicago
Are foreclosure rates actually increasing in Chicago and throughout Cook County? According to the Chicago Now article, Attom Data Solutions just released its Foreclosure Market Report for the first quarter of 2018. In general, foreclosure rates have declined across the country by about 19% from the end of the first quarter in 2017. However, the same is not exactly true of foreclosure rates in Cook County.
The data shows that, between February and March 2018, Chicago actually saw “a significant increase” in foreclosure activity, “rising to the highest level since October.” But is this data actually a reason to despair? The report also notes that, despite the increase in the number of foreclosures, the rate at the end of the first quarter still represents a 23% decline from this same time last year.
Chicago is clearing out its backlog of foreclosures, but some new ones are happening. Fewer than 50% of current foreclosure activity in Cook County is connected to foreclosures that were initiated during the housing market crash. At once, that news is good because it means that the buildup of foreclosures is not presenting the same problem that it once did. At the same time, however, that news also means that more homes are newly entering the foreclosure process. More specifically, as the report underscores, “we are beginning to see early signs that some post-recession loan vintages are defaulting at a slightly elevated rate, a sign that some loosening of lending standards has occurred in recent years.”
Additional Strategies for Handling Foreclosure Blight
Handling the remnants of the foreclosure crisis and preventing new defaults also concerns rebuilding neighborhoods where abandoned homes once stood and increasing interest in certain areas for new building. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Cook County Land Bank—in an effort to increase home ownership and to lessen foreclosure blight—has listed nearly 3,200 vacant lots for sale that will be “available at below-market rates to individuals, developers, and organizers.”
The hope is that new building and community development will help to repair some of the neighborhood damage caused by the foreclosure crisis.
Contact an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Attorney
If you have questions about foreclosure and Cook County neighborhoods, or if you need help preventing foreclosure, an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can assist you. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today.
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