Illinois has 3rd highest foreclosure rate

October 11, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The number did drop from August to September 2012, but Illinois has the third highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Experts say unique factors contribute to that high rate.

Every block in Dolton includes at least one foreclosed property. Since the real estate market collapsed, the south suburb's administration receives foreclosure notifications every day.

"There was a while period of time where people were so underwater they would just walk away and that is where the vacancies come from," Bert Herzog, Village of Dolton administrator, said.

Boarded up homes are part of the landscape in Dolton. While the national trend shows foreclosure activity at a five year low, Illinois remains high. According to a report by RealityTrac, foreclosures rose over 23-percent compared to last year. Dolton's rate is even higher at 27 percent.

"From 2011 to 2012, we have higher numbers, in large part, the banks put a moratorium after the robo signing came to light," Mary Kenney, Illinois Housing Development Authority, said.

The robo signing scandal was resolved this year and banks are now proceeding with foreclosures. Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Mary Kenney says foreclosure process takes longer in this state because foreclosures require judicial review.

"In Illinois the average time-- 16 months, because of our consumer protection laws, and Cook County 18-20, even longer," Kenney said.

Kenney says the numbers are deceiving because in many other states the foreclosure process takes half the time it does in Illinois. But it's not all doom and gloom, according to Kenney. She says the housing market is up and in Dolton, the village administrator says some of the big banks are now working with residents to modify their mortgages.

"Yes, I'm optimistic. It is going to take a couple years," Herzog said.

Dolton and many of its surrounding suburbs have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. This Saturday, the state's Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network will hold a workshop in South Holland at the community center where banks will meet with homeowners.

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