Foreclosure Research

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

July 28, 2010
  By Micah Maidenberg July 28, 2010 When Mohammad Valadan first starting hearing about the South Loop in the media several years ago, it was described as a rapidly expanding neighborhood. In short order he decided that residential real estate in the area had lots of upside for someone, like him,...
July 22, 2010
By Tim Jones July 22, 2010 In the Bungalow Belt of northwest Chicago, houses sink into the morass of foreclosure every day, leaving behind boarded-up windows, scraggly lawns, plummeting home values and an unintended invitation for squatters to settle in. This is life for residents in the old...
July 22, 2010
By Joe Zekas July 22, 2010 Late last year real estate agents were sounding alarms about a pending tsunami of foreclosures on the North Shore. It doesn't appear to be happening. The Woodstock Institute's Q2 2010 report was recently released, and the pickings appear to be relatively slim for...
July 22, 2010
By Bill Smith July 22, 2010   The Woodstock Institute reports that foreclosure filings in Evanston increased in the first half of this year by 18 percent over the same period last year to a total of 267. The good news, such as it is, was that the rise here was lower than the average 33 percent...
July 22, 2010
By Jon Prior July 22, 2010 Foreclosures on condominium units in the six-county Chicago area made up 19% of all filings in the first half of 2010, from 17% last year, according to the Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit research firm based in Chicago. Lenders foreclosed on 39,212 Chicago-area...
July 21, 2010
By Mary Ellen Podmolik July 21, 2010 Some of the most recent Chicago-area homes to enter foreclosure are hard to spot. There are no weedy front yards or plywood-covered windows. That's because they are condos. While single-family homes continue to represent the bulk of initial foreclosure filings...
July 21, 2010

New foreclosure filings on condominiums are a rising share of foreclosure activity in the Chicago region, new data from Woodstock Institute show. New filings on condominiums in the six-county region grew by two percentage points from 17 percent to 19 percent of all foreclosure filings between the first half of 2009 and first half of 2010.

July 21, 2010
By Ashley Gross July 21, 2010 Just a few years ago, foreclosures were confined to certain pockets of Chicago. The south and west sides were hard hit as subprime loans went bust. But now, new numbers out today show that foreclosures in those areas are tailing off while the rest of the region copes...
July 20, 2010

A housing counseling agency that’s so swamped with demand for foreclosure prevention counseling that its executive director personally handles clients. Stalled real estate markets where buyers are waiting for prices to drop even further, and buyers who do want to buy now are struggling to obtain financing. Scam artists who take off with troubled homeowners’ last dollars while promising to save their homes. These are some of the challenges that face those who are trying to combat the effects of foreclosure in the Chicago region’s neighborhoods.

July 20, 2010
By Diane Eastabrook July 20, 2010   TOM HUDSON: Many communities around the country are dealing with the problem of foreclosures. Some of them are dealing with it using money from Uncle Sam. The Federal government has set aside $6 billion in grants to buy up foreclosed properties and resell them....
July 16, 2010

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) should be updated give financial institutions credit for activities that support, enable, or facilitate projects carried out under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), says a recent public comment letter submitted by Woodstock Institute.

July 15, 2010

There’s been a constant flow of anecdotes from housing counselors, homeowners, and the media saying that the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), designed to prevent foreclosures by lowering monthly mortgage payments, has major flaws in its implementation. Homeowners and counselors report difficulties in communicating with their servicers and problems with repeated loss of documents or errors in determining eligibility that can bog down the process—or even result in mistaken foreclosure. A recent report from Congress’ investigative arm states that these anecdotes indicate systemic problems in HAMP’s implementation.

July 15, 2010
July 15, 2010 Nonprofit organizations serving Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, Forest Park and Maywood are among those receiving community outreach grants for their efforts to publicize a foreclosure mediation program. Using Cook County funds, The Chicago Community Trust awarded $225,000 in outreach...
July 9, 2010

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been an effective tool that has been used over the past 30 years to ensure that banks are meeting all the credit needs of the communities they serve, particularly low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.  It has been used to improve access to low-cost mortgage credit in underserved markets, promote the provision of sustainable financial services tailored to low- and moderate-income consumers, and encourage sound investment in underserved communities who badly need it.  However, many questions have been raised about how CRA can be used to meet one of the most pressing needs facing communities today—helping families avoid foreclosure when possible.

July 8, 2010

The impact of the foreclosure crisis continues to be front and center for the Chicago region’s communities. The 2010 Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative Annual Plenary will be an opportunity to hear from experts on economic and foreclosure trends, as well as a chance to share information about successes, challenges and emerging initiatives from peers and practitioners throughout the region. Topics to be covered include:

June 30, 2010

Thanks to your support, House and Senate conferees have passed a strong financial reform bill (read the summary and full text) that will protect consumers and introduce transparency to the financial system. The bill now goes to the full House and Senate for consideration. These reforms are major steps towards preventing another crisis and creating a sustainable financial system where all consumers can safely borrow and save for a brighter future.

June 29, 2010

Permanent loan modifications in the Chicago region continued to rise, increasing by 17% from April to May, but trial modifications and total Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) activity continued to drop. Trial modifications fell by 27% from April to May, and total HAMP activity fell by 13% over the same period (see charts A and B below).

June 10, 2010
By Ashley Gross June 10, 2010 The latest foreclosure numbers from the research group RealtyTrac show some improvement for Illinois. Foreclosure filings dropped 20 percent in May compared with April. They were up from May 2009, but that’s probably because the state last year made banks temporarily...
June 7, 2010
By Gloria Carr June 6, 2010 When Daniel Taylor met Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the Elgin man shared his experience as he struggled to keep his home and talked of his effort to obtain a home mortgage modification that could help him avoid going into foreclosure. Months later, Taylor is still...
June 2, 2010
By Dan Rafter June 2, 2010 Are you one of the more than 23 percent of U.S. homeowners who is underwater on a mortgage loan, according to new figures from Zillow.com? If so, who do you blame for it? Who do you blame for the rapid rise in housing values during the housing boom years, those magical...
May 31, 2010
By Michael Powell May 31, 2010 For two decades, Tyrone Banks was one of many African-Americans who saw his economic prospects brightening in this Mississippi River city. A single father, he worked for FedEx and also as a custodian, built a handsome brick home, had a retirement account and put his...
May 28, 2010
By Joseph Ruzich May 28, 2010 Oak Forest resident Len Zabawa, 65, keeps his lawn neatly trimmed. But the yard on his neighboring property –– a foreclosed home vacant for more than a year –– has become an overgrown eyesore. "The yard is starting to look like a jungle," Zabawa said. "I think it's...
May 25, 2010
By Steven Ross Johnson May 23, 2010 Many have called it the great housing bubble -- a period during the early to mid-2000s when there seemed to be no end to the rise in home values. But as is the nature of any bubble, it burst -- and with it came a wave of foreclosures that swept through the...
May 18, 2010
By Alan Schmidt May 18, 2010 It's likely the last thing most residents of villages along Cook County's North Shore have on their minds is that they might have to rely someday on a food pantry. Many who've had their sense of financial security rattled by the aftershocks of this country's high-...
May 14, 2010
By Lisa Parker May 13, 2010 There was some reason for optimism in the housing world Thursday, as positive numbers emerged for the first time since the housing crisis began. But Illinois' numbers were not part of the party. RealtyTrac, a company that tracks and crunches housing data for much of the...
May 14, 2010
By Eileen Markey May 14, 2010 Redlining is making a comeback. That's the warning issued in a new report that analyzed lending patterns before and after the subprime mortgage collapse. Although communities of color were flooded with often unaffordable, high interest mortgages and home equity loans...
May 13, 2010
By Ashley Gross May 13, 2010 A new report shows that banks have tightened lending in Chicago’s minority communities a lot more than in mostly white communities. From 2006 to 2008, banks shut the spigot of mortgage dollars in predominantly minority neighborhoods. Loans for refinancing in particular...
May 13, 2010
By Nick Carey May 13, 2010 America's financial crisis disproportionately cut access to conventional mortgage loans for minority communities compared to predominantly white neighborhoods, according to a study released on Thursday. Reckless subprime mortgage lending during the recent economic boom...
May 13, 2010
  By Mike Lillis May 13, 2010 Some troubling findings today out of the Woodstock Institute, which examined home lending trends in seven major cities to discover that banks have scaled back prime loans to minority communities at a much quicker clip than they’ve reduced those same loans in...
May 13, 2010
By Alyssa Katz May 13, 2010 Looking to get a mortgage to refinance your home at a low rate? Better check not only your bank account and credit score but your neighborhood's racial profile. According to a new report that surveys loans in seven cities across the country, the number of prime...

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