By Anna Lothson
August 22, 2012
Foreclosure filings in Oak Park are holding steady compared with last year's numbers, but the number of auctions, i.e. homes sold in foreclosure, have more than doubled in a year's time, according to village data.
Tammie Grossman, housing program manager for the village, said that at the end of July 2011, the number of foreclosed homes was 206. This year, the number dropped by one.
"In terms of new filings, we're at the exact place we were last year," she said, noting that it's hard to predict how the rest of the year will go. Grossman said they haven't tracked trends to know if a particular time of year spurs more foreclosures.
While the number of foreclosures remains steady, foreclosure sales from that same time in 2011 tallied 61. This year's numbers exploded to 149. Grossman said it's hard to say what sparked the increased sales, but the lag between how long a foreclosed home sits on the market and when it's sold could contribute to the spike.
Grossman said the ability of the village to get involved during the foreclosure process is limited because a number of steps are involved before a bank takes full ownership. The homeowner may mount a defense to try to save the home, and even when the bank takes over, the auction process takes time to establish.
Under Illinois state law, banks are required to inform the village when it takes over a property. The village also subscribes to a service that provides monthly updates about foreclosure numbers.
Cook County's foreclosure numbers for all properties have risen about 3.4 percent in the first half of 2012 from the same time period in 2011, according to data released by the Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization that tracks housing numbers.
Those numbers differ dramatically throughout Cook County, however. North Cook Country, for example, saw a 10 percent decrease during that time, whereas West Cook County had a 10 percent increase. According to the data, 22,365 properties went into foreclosure during the first half of 2012, which is up by 742 properties from last year.
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