If you are a homeowner in Chicagoland who has struggled with mortgage payments, or if you live in a neighborhood that was hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, you may know that the risk of foreclosure is not entirely over in Illinois. According to a recent article in the Illinois News Network, foreclosure rates are still declining in Illinois, yet some regions of the state continue to struggle when it comes to foreclosure activity.
In response to continued problems concerning foreclosure and neighborhood blight, there are financial institutions and nonprofit groups coming together in Chicago to “revitalize housing left behind in the foreclosure crisis,” according to a recent report from U.S. News & World Report.
Illinois Foreclosure Rate Remains Among the Highest in the U.S.
Over the last several years, the total number of foreclosures in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois has largely declined. However, Illinois still stands out from other states when it comes to high rates of foreclosure. According to the Illinois News Network article, “while many of the home foreclosures from the recession era are long gone, Illinois’ overall foreclosure rate is still one of the highest in the nation.” For example, the foreclosure rates in Peoria and Rockford have some of the highest rates of foreclosure of any city in the country.
In the first half of 2018, there were more than 23,000 homes in Illinois that were in foreclosure. As of the end of July 2018, it was ranked fourth in the nation for highest foreclosure rates. When there are still so many homes in foreclosure, there is often not a lot of demand for real estate in the area. For many parts of Illinois, this reflects continuing economic problems where people cannot afford their mortgage payments or cannot afford to think about buying a home. Given the continued high rates of foreclosure in Illinois, it is important to think about two different issues: how to lessen the number of foreclosures that are currently vacant, and how to prevent foreclosure from happening in the future.
Ending and Preventing Foreclosure in Illinois
To stop new foreclosures from happening, some consumer advocates focus on increasing employment, thereby allowing Illinois homeowners to make their mortgage payments on time with the help of a regular paycheck or to save money in order to buy a home (perhaps one that is vacant due to foreclosure). For Chicagoland residents who do want to buy a home, what are the benefits of buying a property that is currently vacant due to foreclosure?
According to U.S. News & World Report, “several Chicago neighborhoods . . . needed an intervention after the foreclosure crisis peaked around 2010.” Many homeowners vacated residential buildings and single-family houses due to foreclosure. Those properties quickly became “so-called zombie buildings [that] were left empty and in disrepair.” In order to get those properties back to a state where they would be desirable and affordable to new homeowners, Chicago not only took part in HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), but it also “created the Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP) to jump start individual blocks that had a high rate of vacant buildings due to foreclosures.” Community nonprofit groups and the Illinois attorney general’s office, the latter largely from settlements with financial institutions, have contributed to MMRP and funding will continue through the end of 2018. Since its inception, foreclosure filings in Chicago have declined by almost half.
Seek Advice from an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
Do you have questions about avoiding foreclosure? An experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about how we help consumers who are struggling with mortgage payments in Chicagoland.
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