Foreclosure Research

Woodstock Institute identifies trends and impacts of the foreclosure crisis and works to limit foreclosures’ negative effects on communities.

October 21, 2010
By David Roeder October 21, 2010 The plague of foreclosures, which started in the lowest income communities, is moving up the demographic scale in the Chicago area. A report by the Woodstock Institute shows that so far in 2010, new foreclosures are increasing fastest in formerly trendy...
October 21, 2010
By Mary Ellen Podmolik October 21, 2010 Chicago's once-hot neighborhoods are getting hammered by foreclosures. In Chicago's Loop, for instance, 73 foreclosure filings were made during the three months ended Sept. 30. Combine that with filings made earlier in the year and foreclosures are up almost...
October 21, 2010
By Micah Maidenberg October 21, 2010 The Woodstock Institute's latest report (PDF) on foreclosure activity in the Chicago region paints a grim picture. Between January and September of this year, 26,870 properties finished the foreclosure process and 95 percent of them were taken back by mortgage...
October 21, 2010
By Richard D. Orol October 21, 2010 WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Consumer advocates and bank executives clashed on Thursday over the financial industry’s handling and the severity of the so-called “robo-signing” crisis that the government says could derail the housing market. The Federal Reserve...
October 21, 2010
By Curtis Black October 21, 2010 The problem with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s foreclosure moratorium isn’t that it “delays the inevitable.” It’s that it may not have much impact at all. Two weeks after Action Now called on Dart to declare a moratorium on all foreclosure evictions, and five days...
October 19, 2010
By Bob Spoerl October 19, 2010 A sluggish real-estate market and the recently scrapped plans to build the Spire Tower are both part of dwindling development downtown. In the shadows of a recession, the city’s skyline will likely look the same for some time, according to Gail Lissner, a downtown...
October 15, 2010

As you likely know, a number of large mortgage servicers are under scrutiny for possibly preparing fraudulent foreclosure papers. You can read our thoughts on the issue here. Since the situation keeps rapidly changing, we rounded up the latest news to help you stay informed:

October 13, 2010

In recent weeks, the foreclosure processing practices of some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers have come under scrutiny. If the allegations of widespread fraud are true, this episode serves as yet another reminder that we can’t simply rely on the prudence of servicers to adequately address the foreclosure crisis.

October 11, 2010
By Micah Maidenberg October 8, 2010 On September 13, attorneys representing GMAC Mortgage LLC filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County to foreclose on a woman's home in the 12300 block of S. Wentworth Avenue, in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood. The single-story house has a brick...
October 8, 2010
By Kat Aaron and Mary Kane October 8, 2010 With more than 1 million total foreclosures predicted this year, the government is finally taking steps toward resolving a vexing dilemma: It has very few details about this very big problem. Since the subprime mortgage market collapse in 2007, regulators...
October 6, 2010
By Matthew Blake October 6, 2010   As 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti prepares a likely run for mayor, he is trying to establish his bona fides as an advocate for renters pushed out of affordable housing. Fioretti plans at the monthly City Council meeting Wednesday to breathe some life into the...
October 3, 2010
By Marie Wilson October 3, 2010 Diane Keys and her husband, Tony, are not behind on their mortgage payments. But with Diane receiving disability payments, Tony in need of back surgery and three kids younger than 12, Keys knows her family is struggling. "We're having a hard time with the mortgage...
October 2, 2010
By Sean Stillmaker October 2, 2010 Since the beginning of the mortgage crisis home foreclosures have been at their highest this year. But maybe the situation wouldn’t be as bad if bank employees did the job they are paid to do. JP Morgan Chase said it's stopping 56,000 foreclosures to verify...
September 29, 2010

New data show that the number of active trial and permanent Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modifications in the Chicago region continues to drop, surpassing last month’s record low (see our previous analyses). There were 33,346 active modifications in the Chicago region in August 2010, down from last month’s 34,576 and November 2009’s 36,208, the first month Treasury released data by metro area.

September 28, 2010
By Justin Saper September 28, 2010   Advocates say programs designed to curb the number of foreclosures in Illinois aren’t working because of dishonest practices by mortgage servicers. Despite the passage last year of the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, foreclosure filings in Chicago’...
September 24, 2010
By Mary Ellen Podmolik September 24, 2010 How easy is it for someone to learn all about you from your mortgage loan application? To hear mortgage lenders and community groups tell it, it's easier than you might think. Some of the 26 types of data from every mortgage application that's reported...
September 13, 2010

Even though the comment period on CRA modernization is now closed, there are other opportunities to provide input on policies that hold lenders accountable to their communities. Federal bank regulators are holding public hearings on updating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed public reports of their mortgage lending activities to regulators and the public (register here by September 15 for the Chicago hearing).

September 13, 2010

Even though the comment period on CRA modernization is now closed, there are other opportunities to provide input on policies that hold lenders accountable to their communities. Federal bank regulators are holding public hearings on updating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed public reports of their mortgage lending activities to regulators and the public (register here by September 15 for the Chicago hearing).

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

September 8, 2010
By Micah Maidenberg September 8, 2010   When a bank forecloses on a home, the impact is felt by more than the borrower. Foreclosures radiate outward. Lawns don't get mowed, maintenance is deferred, and empty homes with boarded-up windows are prime targets for vandalism. Property values decline --...
September 1, 2010
September 1, 2010 New data compiled by the Woodstock Institute shows that the number of Chicago-area households taking part in trial and permanent home mortgage modifications is now at its lowest regional level since the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was launched. There were...
September 1, 2010
By Robert Felton September 1, 2010 With nearly 1000 foreclosures in the Austin community, current and former homeowners have been looking for help during this still difficult housing market. Cook County recently launched a foreclosure mediation program to offer assistance. The program offers...
August 25, 2010

The predatory subprime lending crisis devastated families and communities across Chicago and the nation, particularly low-wealth communities and communities of color.
A crucial tool to fight discriminatory and predatory lending is the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). HMDA requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed reports of their lending to regulators and the public. Woodstock Institute uses HMDA data to track discriminatory lending practices, study patterns of community investment, and hold individual banks accountable for their lending practices.

August 24, 2010
By Frank Kalman August 24, 2010 While the backlash of the financial crisis continues to weigh heavily on the nation’s banks, Illinois lenders are in the midst of a major consolidation of their own, with a lagging Chicago economy propelling the trend. Since 2007, Illinois has seen 37 of its...
August 4, 2010
By Micah Maidenberg August 4, 2010   The four foreclosure suits that started hitting mortgaged properties clustered around Washington Boulevard between Damen and Oakley in late June share several common elements: Bridgeview Bank filed the suits, and each names Edward Gobbo among the defendants. In...
August 3, 2010
August 3, 2010 We’ve been chattering for awhile about the foreclosures and short sales in the South Loop. The Chicago Journal reports that foreclosures have jumped 54% in the South Loop in the first six months of 2010. When Mohammad Valadan first starting hearing about the South Loop in the media...
August 1, 2010
By David Roeder August 1, 2010 That house down the street that just went into foreclosure wasn't just bad for your neighbor. It's gnawing at the value of your own home. Sales figures show that foreclosed homes generally trade for a 40 percent discount compared with homes sold the conventional way...
July 29, 2010
By Lynne Stiefel July 29, 2010 The number of homes facing foreclosure dipped slightly in some Chicago's suburbs in the first half of 2010, compared to the last half of 2009, but were considerably higher than totals from the first half of 2009, according to data compiled by the Woodstock Institute...

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