Cook County Sees Spike in Foreclosure Activity

Remember the robo-signing controversy? If not, click here.
The scandal, which temporary halted foreclosure activity, appears to be over, and as a result, foreclosures are back on the rise.
In Cook County, nearly 3,000 properties have become vacant over the last three months.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Woodstock Institute, a Chicago-based research group, completed foreclosures in Cook County increased 10.5 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from the last quarter of 2010.
That’s an addition of nearly 2,800 bank-owned homes to the vacant property inventory. It’s also a 7.2 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2010.
In year-over-year comparisons, newly filed foreclosures increased a mere 1 percent in Chicago when you compare the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2010.
That’s a nice stat until you breakdown Chicago neighborhoods. Large increases in foreclosure activity were posted in the East Side (108.7), Archer Heights (76.2), Lakeview (60.3) and North Center (57.9), while significant decreases were seen in Washington Heights (25.6), Auburn Gresham (29), Irving Park (21.2), and Rogers Park (20.2).
Year-over-year foreclosure activity throughout the rest of Cook County:
*Northern Cook: Increased 18.2 percent
*Northwest Cook: Increased 10.3 percent
*Southern Cook: Increased 12.4 percent
*Southwest Cook: Increased 16 percent
*West Cook: Increased 11.6 percent
The good news is that the number of completed foreclosure auctions on Cook County properties fell 54.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same time in 2010.
In addition, significant year-over-year declines were seen in nearly every Chicago community and in all sub-areas of Cook County.
“It is likely that a steady increase in auctions quarter to quarter will continue to be observed in 2011 as the bottleneck created by the robo-signing scandal is resolved,” the report stated.
“In Cook County in the first quarter of 2011, as has been true throughout the crisis, the vast majority of properties were not purchased at auction and instead reverted to the lender as Real Estate Owned (REO). It is likely that many of these REO properties are now vacant.”