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Illinois posts highest foreclosure rate in U.S. in August

Published: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 9:58 a.m. CST

(MCT) — Illinois posted the highest foreclosure rate in the nation in August, with one of every 298 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, according to a report issued Thursday.

It was the first time that Illinois led the nation in foreclosure filings since RealtyTrac began issuing its monthly reports in January 2005. Compared with August 2011, default notices rose 18 percent, notices of scheduled foreclosure auctions rose 116 percent and bank repossessions increased 41 percent. Overall, foreclosure activity in the state rose 29 percent from July and 42 percent from August 2011.

With the latest report, foreclosure activity in Illinois has increased on a year-over-year basis for eight consecutive months.

Most of that activity continues to be centered in the Chicago area.  Of the 17,781 Illinois homes that received a foreclosure notice last month, 91 percent of them were located in the Chicago area.

The higher level of activity in Illinois is not solely a result of lenders processing properties that were already in foreclosure through a pipeline that shut down as a result of various state and federal investigations. During the month, foreclosure was initiated against 8,591 homes in the state, an increase of 37 percent from July and 18 percent from August 2011.

In July, Illinois unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, higher than the national average for 20 consecutive months.

In Cook County alone last month, lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against 4,842 homes, 2,210 residential properties were scheduled for court-supervised auctions and another 2,035 homes were repossessed by lenders.

Like Illinois, some other states where foreclosure actions are processed by the court - New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania - also recorded year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity.

Nationally, one in every 681 homes received a foreclosure filing in August. Though fewer U.S. homes were placed on the foreclosure track last month than in August last year, when they hit a 17-year high, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

"Bucking the national trend, deferred foreclosure activity boiled over in several states in August," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a statement. "In judicial states such as Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, this was a continuation of a trend we've been seeing for several months now."

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