Chicago Home Foreclosures Spike, But There is Help

This Chicago real estate story is not about Halloween, but it sure is scary.
RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosed properties, released its 2010 Third Quarter Foreclosure Market Report to show that, of the 20 largest cities in the country, the Chicago area posted the second-biggest increase in foreclosures in year-over-year results.
The report said foreclosures in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area increased more than 35 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same time last year. Only the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area posted a higher foreclosure rate with a whopping 71 percent.
Stop foreclosuresOne in every 84 Chicago area households received a foreclosure notice in that third quarter.
Chicago also had 12,568 homes taken by lenders during the third quarter. That puts us as the third highest in the country behind the Phoenix and Miami metro areas.
The bright side: Chicago is not included in the group of four cities that account for all of the top 10 foreclosure rates in the third quarter and 19 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates. Those cities are in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.
“The underlying problems that are causing homeowners to miss their mortgage payments — high unemployment, underemployment, toxic loans and negative equity — are continuing to plague most local housing markets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “And these historically high foreclosure rates will continue until those problems are resolved.”
The bright side: There is help out there for homeowners struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.
*Chicago residents can dial 311 to be connected to a financial counselor through the Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI).
*The Lakeside Community Development Corporation, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, is offering a free foreclosure prevention workshop on Saturday, October 30 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 6636 N. Clark Street, Chicago.  Space is limited, so RSVP at (773) 381-5253. For more information, visit
*The next City of Chicago Borrower Outreach Day is scheduled for Saturday, November 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago.