Fewer Illinois homeowners are at risk of foreclosure, according to a recent article in the Illinois News Network. More homeowners in Oak Park, throughout Chicagoland, and across the state are making their monthly mortgage payments on time, and rates of foreclosure are falling. While a decline in mortgage delinquencies is certainly a good thing for Illinois residents, it is important to remember that many homeowners in the state may be struggling yet might not recognize that they are at risk of foreclosure. What should Oak Park homeowners or potential homebuyers know about foreclosure in Illinois?
Foreclosure Starts are Down While Homeowners Pay Their Mortgages on Time
As the article clarifies, a recent report from Attom Data Solutions reports that “the number of Illinois homes that are being introduced into the foreclosure process fell 10% since May of last year.” That information correlates to fewer mortgage delinquencies and more homeowners who are making their mortgage payments on time. Some areas of Illinois have seen greater declines than others.
For example, foreclosure rates declined by 23% in Peoria from May of 2017, while foreclosure start rates in Rockford dropped by about 25%. Those in Champaign-Urbana dropped by the most salient amount—about 55%. Commentators suggest that these numbers are indicators of good financial health among homeowners in Illinois. According to Daren Blomquist, the Vice President of Attom Data Solutions, “foreclosure starts are a good barometer of the immediate financial condition of homeowners in Illinois.”
Home Equity is Helping Homeowners in Financial Difficulty
Why are fewer people at risk of foreclosure in the current economic climate? For the most part, people who purchased new homes after the foreclosure crisis have seen a rise in the values of their homes. As such, there are not too many new homeowners who are underwater on their loans. And rising home values also mean that homeowners who are finding themselves in financial trouble likely will be able to sell their properties for a profit in order to pay off debts.
In other words, when home values rise, more homeowners have equity in their homes that they can rely upon in the event of a financial emergency. As Blomquist suggested, homeowners in Illinois who lose their jobs or have unexpected medical bills will “typically have the equity in their home to get out of trouble.”
Foreclosure Remains a Risk in Illinois Despite Improving Numbers
While foreclosure start rates are declining, the state of Illinois “still has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.” As such, it is important for homeowners to remain vigilant when it comes to their mortgage and their financial standing. According to an article from Freddie Mac, the following are warning signs that you could be at risk of foreclosure:
- You have maxed out your credit cards;
- You are relying on your credit cards to pay for daily expenses;
- You are having trouble paying your bill on time;
- You are making the minimum payment on your credit cards;
- You are applying for new credit cards because you have maxed out your current cards; and
- You are intentionally avoiding paying certain bills.
If you need help with foreclosure defense, an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can speak with you today about your options. Contact the Emerson Law Firm for more information.
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