Over the past three years of ILFLS data, it is evident that the foreclosures in Cook County, Illinois have a trend of decreasing from December to January each year. In December 2009 there were 5,325 foreclosures in Cook County. In January 2010, there were only 4,167. From December 2009 to January 2010 there was a 22% decrease in foreclosures in Cook County. In December 2010 there were 4,434 foreclosures in Cook County. In January 2011 however, there were only 3,954. From December 2010 to January 2011 there was a 19% decrease in foreclosures in Cook County. In December 2011 there were 3,688 foreclosures in Cook County. In January 2012 however, there were only 3,139. From December 2011 to January 2012 there was a 15% decrease in foreclosures in Cook County.
With this data, we can also see an overall decrease in foreclosures in Cook County over the past three years. Combined, December 2009-February 2010, foreclosures reached 13,604 in Cook County. From December 2010-January 2011, there were 12,040 foreclosures in Cook County. This is over a 12% decrease for the winter months overall. From December 2011-February 2012, there were 10,642 foreclosures in Cook County. This, overall, is also a 12% decrease from the previous year’s winter months. Comparing the last three years winter totals, foreclosures appear to be decreasing on an average of 12-15 percent each year.
Could this trend provide hope for Illinois residents? Some experts assert that the numbers are "artificially low" and express that foreclosures will, once again, begin to rise over the next year. Since February 2011, the number of homes going into foreclosure has fallen 8% since February 2011 nation-wide. Over 25% of states, however, have reported yearly increases in the number of home foreclosures. Chicago alone has the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation. The state of Illinois as a whole has the eighth higest rate of foreclosed homes. Over 103,000 homes were foreclosed in Illinois in 2011 - over 97,000 were in Chicago alone. Due to this alarming foreclosure rate in the Chicago area, state and local officials have designed varius programs to advocate for these homeowners.
It can be difficult for the average resident to comprehend the various federal and state resources offering assistance and guidance for people attempting to get their homes out of foreclosure. Because of this difficulty, Mary Kenney, Director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, organized six regional workshops named "Keep Your home, Illinois" to assist everyday residents on how to get out of foreclosure. The services provided by local counseling agencies and numerous other organizations are free and allow homeowners to weigh their options regarding their homes and their current state of foreclosure. Legal assistance, debt management, and even help job searching is also provided. Over 800 at-risk homeowners attended the most recent workshop in Berwyn on March 21, 2012. According to the Center for Housing Policy, nearly half of homeowners who utilize foreclosure prevention services are able to keep their homes.