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Woodstock Developments

A monthly update on new research, analysis, and advocacy from Woodstock Institute

November 11, 2010


From the President: Farm Loan Crisis of 1980s Demonstrates How “Stripdowns” Worked without Working

Dory Rand The longer this foreclosure crisis drags on, the clearer it is that voluntary loan modification programs are inadequate to meet the needs of millions of borrowers with homes worth less than the mortgages. A recent commentary published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland shows how an old tool could be used in this new context to help underwater borrowers.


Related: Back to the drawing board: another look at judicial modifications

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New data show jump in completed foreclosures in the Chicago region

Completed foreclosure auctions in the Chicago six-county region rose by 44.9 percent over the last year from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010, new data from Woodstock Institute show. The largest increases in completed foreclosures from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010 were in Northwest Cook County (93.7 percent), Southwest Cook County (74.4 percent), and South Cook County (50.9 percent). In the first three quarters of 2010 in the six-county Chicago region, 26,870 properties completed the foreclosure process and went to auction. This is an increase of 37.4 percent from the same period in 2009.


Related: New data show that vacant, foreclosed properties are a rising concern for Chicago region communities

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How CRA Helped One Small Business Thrive

Richard Otero-Cintrón is the kind of person who knows how to seize an opportunity when he sees one. It’s how he became the owner of North Chicago Auto Service after starting out in 1990 as the maintenance man who swept the floors and made sure the windows were clean. Over the course of fifteen years, Otero-Cintrón earned the trust of the shop’s previous owner through his dedication and loyalty. When the previous owner passed away of pancreatic cancer five years ago, he left Otero-Cintrón ownership of 25 percent of the business and the rest to his widow.


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“Everyone got took”: “Broke USA” tracks evolution of poverty industry from pawn shops to mortgage-backed securities

Eighty-year-old Annie Lou Collier had long paid off the Atlanta home that she’d lived in since 1953 when a con man posing as a contractor approached her in 1990, took a look at her roof, and told Collier it needed replacing. Collier balked, saying that she couldn’t afford it on her modest fixed income. That doesn’t matter, the man told her. Collier could simply borrow the money against the value of her home; he would even drive her to the lender to borrow the $6,900 that same day.

Collier, who has a second grade education and can’t read, signed the loan. It turned out to have a whopping 25.3 percent annual percentage rate, and one year later, Collier was in default. The roof was never even fixed.


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Chicago region HAMP modifications level off while watchdog takes aim at HAMP’s implementation: September

The number of active trial and permanent Home Affordable Modification Program modifications continues to drop in the Chicago region, according to new data released by Treasury. The past three months have seen active modifications drop to record lows (see our previous analyses). There were 32,880 active modifications in the region in September 2010, down 1.4 percent from last month’s 33,346.


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Looking for information on the foreclosure crisis in the Chicago metro area?

Visit the Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative's website at The RHOPI site is a one-stop shop for foreclosure information in the Chicago region, such as success stories of local efforts to forge solutions to the foreclosure problem, events, resources for homeowners and renters in trouble because of foreclosure, regional and national research, and data and indicators.

New at RHOPI: Southern suburbs awarded $2.4 million Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant

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In this issue

  Recent Work

File IconBridging the Gap: Credit Scores and Economic Opportunity in Illinois Communities of Color
September 2010

File IconPaying More for the American Dream IV: The Decline of Prime Mortgage Lending in Communities of Color
May 2010 

File IconGovernment Interventions Have a Limited Impact on Chicago Area Foreclosure Activity in 2009
February 2010   

  [+] View All Publications

 Upcoming Events

Movie screening and panel discussion: “Plunder: The Crime of Our Time” with director Danny Schechter
December 2
Columbia College Chicago


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