Illinois has the third highest rate of foreclosures in the US

New data shows that Illinois has the third highest rate of foreclosures in the country

Almost 7.5 percent of all one-to-four-unit mortgage loans in Illinois were in foreclosure in the first quarter, compared with a national average of 4.39 percent, according to data released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Illinois and New Jersey trail only Florida as being the worst in the country, and they’re getting worse,” said Jay Brinkmann, the association’s chief economist “The rate in Illinois more than twice that of California. In the judicial states the problem continues to get worse in terms of the backlog of loans in the foreclosure process.”

Added Michael Fratantoni, the association’s vice president of research and economics, “This is not a case that loans are entering foreclosure at a greater extent than in nonjudicial (states.) It’s that they’re staying in foreclosure longer.”

Illinois is not alone, according to the trade group’s quarterly national delinquency survey. In judicial states, the percent of loans in the foreclosure process reached an all-time high of 6.9 percent during the first quarter. That compares with a rate of 2.8 percent in non-judicial states, the lowest since early 2009.

The larger story about foreclosures in recent years has tended to focus on certain Sunbelt places like Florida, Las Vegas, and California so it is interesting to hear that Illinois has one of the highest rates – even if this is due to the particulars about how foreclosures are dealt with in the courts.

Based on this, could one argue that places like Las Vegas, said to be hard-hit by foreclosures, actually will be able to move past foreclosures more easily because of quicker court procedures? Speaking broadly, is it better for a state’s economic health and for its citizens for foreclosures to move more quickly in the courts even if this has some negative shorter-term effects? What is the proper trade-off between helping current residents and clearing bad mortgages off the books?

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