Chicago region sees double-digit declines in foreclosure filings and auctions

CHICAGO—Both foreclosure filings and foreclosure auctions declined substantially in the Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014, new data from Woodstock Institute show. Foreclosure filings, which indicate the beginning of the foreclosure process, fell by 33.7 percent in the Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014. Foreclosure auctions, which indicate the completion of the foreclosure process and transfer to new owners, declined by 22.4 percent in the Chicago six county region over the same time period.

“We are encouraged by the continuing decline in new foreclosure filings because it suggests that fewer homeowners are becoming seriously delinquent on their mortgages,” said Spencer Cowan, Vice President of Woodstock Institute. “The decline in filings gives the courts a chance to work through the substantial backlog of foreclosure cases that has built up over the past several years. Much work remains to be done, however, to help the thousands of homeowners who are still struggling to afford their mortgages and revitalize communities that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis of the past six years, neighborhoods that are disproportionately low-wealth communities and communities of color.”

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The data on foreclosure filings and auctions in 2014 show that:

  • Foreclosure filings continued their downward trend between 2013 and 2014. The number of foreclosure filings in the Chicago six county region declined by one-third, from 39,985 filings in 2013 to 26,510 in 2014.

o   The sub-regions with the greatest declines in foreclosure filings were DuPage County (42.5 percent), Kane County (39.7 percent), and Will County (37.4 percent).

o    In the City of Chicago, foreclosures dropped by 32 percent. Community areas with the largest decreases in foreclosures were North Center (63.6 percent), Armour Square (61.5 percent), and West Ridge (55.2 percent). The only community areas that experienced increases in foreclosure filings were Hyde Park (20 percent), Calumet Heights (11 percent), and Morgan Park (nearly two percent).

  • The region experienced its largest year-over-year decline in foreclosure auctions since 2011. The number of foreclosure auctions in the Chicago six county region fell from 31,830 in 2013 to 24,687 in 2014.

o   The sub-regions with the greatest declines in foreclosure auctions were Kane County (32.2 percent), Lake County (27.1 percent), and DuPage County (27 percent).

o   In the City of Chicago, foreclosure auctions fell by nearly 23 percent. Community areas with the greatest decreases in completed auctions included Armour Square (57.1 percent), Lincoln Square (52.7 percent), and Lakeview (51.7 percent). Community areas with the largest increases in auctions included Mount Greenwood (50 percent), Fuller Park (29.4 percent), and North Center (14.3 percent).

  • The percentage of properties sold at foreclosure auctions becoming bank-owned is at the lowest level since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis. Only 84.3 percent of properties sold at foreclosure auctions in the Chicago region in 2014 were repossessed by the bank, also known as real-estate owned (REO). In 2008, 99.2 percent of properties sold at auction entered REO status. While the overall trends are positive, over 90 percent of properties sold at auction in many low- and moderate-income communities and communities of color are still entering REO status, presenting an increased risk of blight in the near future.

For more information, please contact Spencer Cowan at 312-368-0310 or scowan@woodstockinst.org.