For a sixth year in a row, foreclosure filings climbed in the Chicago region last year.
Collar counties saw big year-over-year jumps. That’s according to data from the housing research group Woodstock Institute.
Polo Fabian works for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of McHenry County. He says banks aren’t letting people reduce their mortgage payments and homeowners are choosing to walk away.
"A lot of people decide not to keep the house just because the house is now worth $100,000 and they owe $200,000," Fabian says.
For the six-county region, foreclosure filings rose 14 percent. Geoff Smith of Woodstock Institute says this year could see another increase.
"Property values are not really expected to go up substantially, unemployment is not really expected to decline substantially anytime soon, so we’re kind of locked in this situation and there’s not really a clear path out of it," Smith says.
And Smith says federal efforts to stop the foreclosure crisis have been a disappointment.