Illinois saw a nine percent increase in foreclosures in January compared to the same time last year, according to a report from the firm RealtyTrac.
"Even though we’ve had a bit of a reprieve in 2011, we see that as somewhat of an artificial reprieve. Not because the market was recovering but because it was taking longer for the lenders to foreclose," said RealtyTrac Vice-President Daren Blomquist.
The increase in Illinois is driven by a high number of cases in the final stages of the foreclosure process. Last month, compared to a year before, there was a 141 percent uptick in scheduled auctions and a 52 percent increase in bank repossession of properties. Blomquist said this likely means lenders are pushing through foreclosures that were backlogged.
A settlement between states and lenders over problems with paperwork submitted by banks was announced earlier this month.
"I do think the settlement will accelerate this trend and we’ll see in Illinois and Indiana, as well as other states, continued increases from 2011 in foreclosure activity," said Blomquist.