Through the first half of the year, foreclosure auctions in Chicago more than doubled. In fact, according numbers released by the Woodstock Institute - a research organization - the number of completed auctions in the Chicago area increased by 105 percent over the same period in 2011. This increase represented a total of 17,432 homes being auctioned in the six-county Chicago area - with 91.3 percent of these homes being repossessed and bank-owned.
While discussing how this increase will likely carry through to the second half of the year as well, Tom Feltner, a vice president at Woodstock, told the Chicago Tribune, "That presents challenges for communities, because there is going to be a substantial increase in distressed properties in the market, and that's going to have a negative effect on surrounding property values and ultimately prolong a depressed housing market."
The increase in foreclosure auctions is also stretching the resources of counties and auction firms as they try to schedule foreclosures. For example, in Will County the earliest possible open auction dates are not until the middle of December, even though as many as 100 auctions are held once a week.
Moreover, the court has now requested the sheriff of Kane County to increase the number of weekly auctions from 100 to 130. However, even with the request, banks are still only able to get auction dates in January of next year.
It is important to note that a foreclosure auction is not a foregone conclusion for homeowners behind on their mortgage payments - for example, homeowners still have the option of filing for bankruptcy, which stops foreclosures. Bankruptcy also gives homeowners the time they need to either get caught up on their payments or even renegotiate with their bank - not to mention numerous other options.
Given that there are a number of other foreclosure defense solutions, with every foreclosure/bankruptcy situation being different, it is important to know what strategy will work best given your particular circumstances.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Foreclosure auctions on rise in Chicago area," Mary Ellen Podmolik, August 14, 2012
Our firm often handles situations in which a homeowner is either underwater on their mortgage or behind on their mortgage payments. If you would like to learn more about our foreclosure defense practice, please feel free to visit our Chicago Foreclosure Defense page.