Foreclosures jump in Chicago as banks work through backlog

After reaching a $25 billion mortgage settlement with states attorneys general, banks are now moving through a backlog of delinquent mortgages and proceeding with more foreclosures in Illinois.

March 15, 2012

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(WBEZ/Ashley Gross)
Vacant properties mar the Chicago neighborhood of North Pullman

Foreclosure filings in the Chicago metro area jumped 43 percent in February from a year ago.

The good news is that a jump in foreclosures means banks are working through their backlog and the end becomes closer in sight. But for homeowners, the bad news is that will probably drag down prices even more.

Geoff Smith heads the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.

"There’s probably not going to be a lot of great news on the housing market for the next six months to a year in terms of property values, but this is something that has to happen," Smith said.

The housing data firm RealtyTrac says the number of foreclosure auctions scheduled in Illinois more than doubled in February.

Smith says banks are moving ahead now that they’ve reached a settlement with state attorneys general over shoddy paperwork and robo-signing.