New foreclosure filings in Chicago region continue to drop, now at pre-recession levels

Completed foreclosure auctions decline gradually

New foreclosure filings, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, dropped to the lowest level since 2007 following months of sustained year-over-year declines, data from Woodstock Institute show. Foreclosure filings in the Chicago six county region decreased by nearly 40 percent from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014. Foreclosure auctions, which signify the completion of the foreclosure process, declined at a less dramatic pace, dropping just 16.7 percent over the same time period. 

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“The decreasing number of new properties entering the foreclosure pipeline means policymakers will need to adjust the tools they are using to address the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath,” said Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock Institute. “There are still thousands of homeowners entering the foreclosure process who will need guidance on how to avoid losing their homes whenever possible, but there are also tens of thousands more who lost their homes and who are struggling to rebuild their lives. Vacant and blighted homes continue to plague neighborhoods, particularly low-wealth neighborhoods and communities of color.” “

The foreclosure crisis continues to impact homeowners who lost their homes, their neighbors, and their communities,” said Cowan. “We need sustained support for policy interventions that can limit the ongoing negative impacts of foreclosures.”

The data on trends in Chicago region foreclosure filings and auctions in the first half of 2014 show that:

Foreclosure filings dropped substantially from the first half of 2013 to the first half of 2014. The number of foreclosure filings in the Chicago six county region fell by 37.7 percent from 22,342 filings in the first half of 2013 to 13,916 filings in the first half of 2014. 

  • Sub-regions that experienced large decreases in foreclosure filings include DuPage County (down 48.2 percent), Will County (down 47.7 percent), and North Cook County (down 44.6 percent).
  • Municipalities with particularly large decreases with foreclosure filings include Niles (down 61.9 percent), Elmhurst (down 61.5 percent) and Crest Hill (down 59.1 percent). 
  • In the City of Chicago, foreclosure filings declined by 34.4 percent. Community areas with large declines include Brighton Park (down 56.2 percent), the Near West Side (down 54.4 percent), and West Lawn (down 53.3 percent).

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Vector image files (EPS): Foreclosure Filings | Foreclosure Auctions

Foreclosure auctions declined more gradually than foreclosure filings. The number of foreclosure auctions in the Chicago six county region fell by 16.7 percent from 16,332 auctions in the first half of 2013 to 13,602 auctions in the first half of 2014.

  • Sub-regions that experienced large decreases in foreclosure auctions include DuPage County (down 28 percent), Northwest Cook County (down 26.9 percent), and West Cook County (down 25 percent). Auctions in Will County increased by 35.6 percent, making it the only sub-region to experience an increase in foreclosure auctions.
  • Municipalities that experienced large decreases in foreclosure auctions include Skokie (down 43.9 percent), Round Lake Beach (down 43.8 percent), and Rolling Meadows (down 42.7 percent). Municipalities that experienced increases in foreclosure auctions include Joliet (up 59.3 percent), Romeoville (up 37.5 percent), and Bolingbrook (up 32.5 percent).
  • In the City of Chicago, foreclosure auctions declined by 20.6 percent. Community areas that experienced large decreases in foreclosure auctions include East Garfield Park (down 52.5 percent), North Lawndale (down 51.2 percent), and Rogers Park (down 50.8 percent). Community areas that experienced increases in foreclosure auctions include Ashburn (up 29.8 percent), Washington Heights (up 23.8 percent), and Auburn Gresham (up 20.9 percent).

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