Chicago region foreclosures continue to rise in 2010, despite year-end “robo-signing” moratoria

The Chicago six-county region saw nearly 80,000 new foreclosure filings in 2010, says data released today by Woodstock Institute. This 14 percent increase in new foreclosures from 2009 to 2010 happened in spite of a dip in the fourth quarter of 2010, likely due to the moratoria many mortgage servicers instated after it was discovered that a number of servicers were improperly preparing foreclosure documents.
“Clearly, the foreclosure problem in the Chicago area is not going away anytime soon,” said Senior Vice President Geoff Smith. “Even though many foreclosures were halted for several months in 2010, the region still saw double-digit increases from 2009 to 2010. It is likely that we will see an even larger jump in foreclosures in early 2011.”

The data show that:

Growth in new foreclosure filing activity continues to be concentrated in the region’s middle- and upper-income urban and suburban communities.

Counties with the greatest increases in new foreclosure filings between 2009 and 2010 include McHenry County (33 percent increase) and Will County (21.4 percent).

The City of Chicago saw the smallest increase in new foreclosure filing activity, with an increase of 3 percent. Within the City, the neighborhoods with the biggest increases are the Loop (53.7 percent increase), Near South Side (44.9 percent), and Lincoln Park (34.6 percent).

Modest-income communities of color that were hit hardest earlier in the crisis continue to see decreases in new foreclosure filings. Substantial declines were seen in Washington Park (19.3 percent decrease), Hermosa (16.7 percent decrease), and West Englewood (16.2 percent decrease).

 

The City of Chicago and South Suburban Cook County continue to have the largest number of new foreclosure filings per property.

While low- and modest-income communities of color have seen recent declines in new foreclosures, these neighborhoods’ overall foreclosure levels are still high. Over the course of the crisis, high concentrations of distressed foreclosed properties that threaten neighborhood stability and economic opportunity have accumulated in these communities.

In the six-county region, 35.1 out of every 1,000 properties with mortgages were in foreclosure in 2010. In contrast, 50.9 out of every 1,000 properties with mortgages in South Cook County were in foreclosure in 2010. The City of Chicago had the second-highest foreclosure rate, with 41.1 out of every 1,000 properties with mortgages in foreclosure in 2010.

North Cook County had the lowest concentration of foreclosures, with 22.6 out of every 1,000 properties with mortgages in foreclosure in 2010.

 

Completed foreclosure auctions grew dramatically between 2009 and 2010, despite a large dip from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2010.

Completed foreclosure auctions, after which a homeowner is typically evicted, grew by 25.2 percent from 2009 to 2010 in the six-county region (30,981 properties). Of these, 95 percent became lender-owned and likely vacant.

Nonetheless, foreclosure auctions in the six-county region fell by 55.2 from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth quarter 2010 auctions were 12.5 percent lower than fourth quarter 2009 auctions.

This quarter-over-quarter decrease is likely due to the “robo-signing” scandal in late 2010 when it was revealed that many servicers were rapidly processing foreclosure paperwork without properly verifying the associated documents, often in violation of state foreclosure laws. In response, many servicers imposed moratoria on foreclosure sales while they reviewed their processes. The moratoria largely ended in early 2011 and auctions will likely jump early this year.

 

Condominium foreclosures continue to be a significant driver of foreclosure activity in some communities.

Suburban Northwest Cook County experienced a 24.5 percent increase in all foreclosure filings between 2009 and 2010, while foreclosures on condominiums increased by 32.3 percent over this period. Condominium foreclosures made up 42.5 percent of total 2010 foreclosure activity in the area.

Within the City of Chicago, condominiums made up a significant portion of foreclosures in neighborhoods that saw the biggest increases in new foreclosure filings, such as the Loop, the Near South Side, and Lincoln Park.

Condominium foreclosures pose unique challenges to communities trying to recover from the foreclosure crisis.

 

For more information, please contact Geoff Smith at 312-368-0310 or gsmith at woodstockinst dot org.