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Foreclosures decline nationally in May, rise slightly in Illinois

The number of homes entering foreclosure in the United States continues to decline. 

California-based RealtyTrac's monthly report of foreclosure filings shows that foreclosures fell during the month of May and are down 33 percent from the same period one year ago.

But Illinois foreclosure activity increased in May, rising more than five percent compared to the previous month.

Illinois posted 10,574 foreclosure filings last month, which includes default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions. The filings represent one in every 500 housing units in the state.  The highest number of foreclosures occured in Cook County, followed by Lake, Will, DuPage, and Kane counties.

The Illinois foreclosure rate is the eighth-highest in the nation, but it's also 30 percent lower than the same period a year ago.

Foreclosures had fallen more than 16 percent in April compared to March, but RealtyTrac attributed decreases in many states to paperwork processing delays rather than a housing recovery.

RealtyTrac notes that while the number of new homes entering foreclosure has slowed, inventories of bank-owned properties or REO's, which refers to real estate owned properties, rose in April and May.

“That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory," said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccino. "Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”

Five states accounted for more than half of the nation's foreclosure activity:  California, Florida, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada.

Nevada continued to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate at one in every 103 housing units.

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