Recently, this blog has discussed on several occasions the losing battle being fought by the City of Chicago with an ever-increasing number foreclosures and the associated negative effects. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the number of foreclosures in Illinois has increased dramatically. As of November of 2013, according to RealtyTrac, one in every 528 properties in Illinois was in foreclosure and through the first half of 2013, Illinois posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate: 1.20% of housing units with a foreclosure filing.
Foreclosure Crisis Ending?
Recently, however, new information has been released demonstrating that the nationwide foreclosure crisis might be nearing its end as Chicago residents begin to show various stages of financial recovery and neighborhoods return to some normalcy. According to a recent article in Mortgage News Daily, statistics exhibiting an increase in lender repossessions and foreclosures, such as those used by RealtyTrac, are actually a positive sign that “the housing crisis is in its final stages.” According to the article, overall foreclosure filings have actually decreased, with the total number falling to approximately 116,000 in April.
How do these findings excuse RealtyTrac data showing that Illinois had the eighth-highest real estate ownership increase from April 2013, which usually represents repossessions by banks? Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, explained that “the rise in bank repossessions in many states is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the recent housing crisis” because the new real estate owners are “willing to do more extensive rehab.”
Overall, foreclosure filings have decreased by 20 percent since April 2013, and completed foreclosures are down 14 percent. Despite these precipitous drops, Illinois still has one of the highest rates of foreclosure filings in the U.S. at one of every 700. Florida still tops the list with one foreclosure filing for every 400 units, nearly three times the national average. Other states filling out the top ten foreclosure filings per unit were Maryland (624), Delaware (657), Indiana (681), New Jersey (700), Ohio (750), Nevada (770), Connecticut (887), and South Carolina (890).
Both Chicago and the State of Illinois have been proactive in their efforts to curb the negative effects of foreclosures. Chicago has adopted measures such as the “Keep Chicago Renting” legislation, which requires any individual or institution attempting to foreclose on real estate to provide any tenants the opportunity to enter into a rent-controlled lease if the property is sold, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Safeguard Properties, alleging that Safeguard wrongfully prevented residents from entering their homes by breaking in, changing locks, and shutting off utilities while foreclosure proceedings were still pending.
If you have questions regarding the rights and obligations you have as a tenant or believe you have been the victim of the unfair practices of a landlord, contact the experienced real estate attorneys at The Slater Firm, Ltd. today.