Data Shows Major Spike in Chicago Foreclosures

If you haven't had a brush with foreclosure yourself in recent years, you probably know someone who has. Although talk of economic recovery seems to rekindle with every other news cycle, long-terms stats regarding foreclosures in the Chicago metropolitan area show that challenges to homeowners remain abundant.

While real estate experts took some encouragement from a recent 8.5 percent monthly decrease in Chicago foreclosure filings, the year-to-year figure was overwhelmingly negative: foreclosures skyrocketed 43.2 percent between February 2011 and February 2012. In other words, a greater number of Illinois families are looking for advice about foreclosure defense via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, loan modifications and other strategies.

Statewide, 13,298 foreclosure filings were registered in February, a 7.3 percent decrease from January, but up nearly 40 percent from 9,592 in February 2011. When looked at another way, the extent of the problem becomes crystal clear: foreclosure proceedings were filed against one of every 400 Illinois homes in February 2012, the sixth-highest rate in the country.

Distressed homeowners who are facing foreclosure should learn about the benefits of filing for bankruptcy, including the automatic stay which suspends foreclosure proceedings and the way that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide an opportunity to catch up on payments over an extended period. However, Illinois foreclosure defense can also involve other strategies, from arguing that the mortgage company doesn't have legal standing to bring an action due to insufficient paperwork, to asserting the homeowner's right of rescission due to procedural errors by the lender.

Protecting your home during the current foreclosure crisis may be challenging, but don't assume that it's impossible. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys can explain a variety of smart solutions in light of your unique financial circumstances.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Chicago foreclosure filings surge from year ago," Francine Knowles, March 15, 2012

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