Friday, July 12, 2019

Concerning Foreclosure Trends in the Chicago Area

For quite some time, foreclosure activity has been declining in the Chicago area. Indeed, in large part, trends had been showing that new foreclosures had declined and shadow inventory had decreased. However, a recent article in Chicago Now, there are concerning signs about current foreclosure trends. As the article explains, “after steady declines over the last few years, Chicago foreclosure activity has recently shown an uptick.” In short, Illinois remains within the top five states in terms of foreclosure activity. We want to say more about the details of current trends in the area and to remind homeowners about processes for avoiding foreclosure.

Foreclosure Starts and Shadow Inventory Increase in Chicago
Data shows that two different forms of foreclosure activity are on the rise in the Chicago area: foreclosure starts (or the initial phase of a home entering into foreclosure), and an increase in shadow inventory (which refers to homes that are “in some stage of foreclosure”). Indeed, the Chicago shadow inventory is at a seven-month high and has been increasing since late 2018. In terms of overall foreclosure trends, there has been a “gradual upward drift” that has some consumer protection advocates concerned.

While the increasing rate of foreclosures in general may be a reason for caution, it is important to know that it may not be a reason to panic. In general, foreclosure activity has declined substantially over the last six years in the area. Despite the increase that has occurred over the last seven months, the foreclosure rate remains lower than it was in summer 2018—just one year ago.

Avoiding Foreclosure: Tips for Homeowners
As foreclosure rates climb slightly in the Chicago area, it is important for homeowners in Oak Park and throughout Chicagoland who are struggling to make mortgage payments to know that they may have options available to them to avoid foreclosure. If you are struggling with mortgage payments, you should get in touch with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney in Illinois. Yet in the meantime, the following are some tips to avoid foreclosure from HGTV:

  • Contact the lender to learn about a compromise option to get back on track with your mortgage payments;
  • Learn about options for a short sale, which typically may be an offer on your home for less than the total amount of the mortgage but ultimately will save the bank time and money, and will allow you to avoid foreclosure;
  • File for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which will allow you to benefit from the automatic stay (stopping the foreclosure process once you file for bankruptcy) and will allow you to get back on track with mortgage payments through a repayment plan; or
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure, which involves voluntarily signing over your home to the bank in order to avoid the credit damage that will be caused by a foreclosure.

Contact a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer in Oak Park for More Information
Most people who are behind on mortgage payments want to find a way to stay in their homes. If working out a solution with the mortgage lender is no longer possible, Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the best option that will allow you to keep your home. An experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can discuss options with you. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about how we can help.

See Related Blog Posts:

Cook County Foreclosure Lawsuit Against Banks Continues
Is a Short Sale Better Than a Foreclosure?