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Illinois Foreclosure Filings Decline in August

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Illinois foreclosure filings declined in August from July, but an expert warns against reading too much into the numbers.

The foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac ranked Illinois sixth in the country in the number of foreclosure filings in August. They totaled more than 13-thousand. But that was a 10 percent decrease from July. One reason may be a new state law that delays foreclosure filings if a homeowner enters loan counseling. Geoff Smith is with the housing research group Woodstock Institute. He cautions that his research shows the foreclosure crisis is far from over.

SMITH: I don’t know that there’s been a decline in the number of distressed homeowners. I don’t think that there has. But I think that there’s been a pause in the part where they’re having a foreclosure action filed against them.

Smith says he thinks there are more foreclosures still to come because of the troubled economy and certain adjustable rate mortgages. He says so-called option ARMs, which allow homeowners to pay less than the interest owed, will start to reset in the next couple of years, potentially triggering more defaults.

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