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Number of foreclosure filings drop in Chicago area

Updated: March 14, 2013 10:48AM

In positive news on the housing front, the number of homes hit with foreclosure filings in the Chicago metropolitan area dropped 11.5 percent in February from January, to 11,444, and fell 9 percent from February 2012, according to a report being released by RealtyTrac Thursday.

“I think this is good news,” said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist. “Chicago still has the tenth highest rate in the country among metropolitan areas, but it does appear that possibly the recent upward trend is turning a corner. With this decrease in February, it’s the third straight month with year over year decreases.”

Prior to that, the Chicago area had experienced 11 straight months of annual increases.

The declines signal lenders are catching up on the backlog created when documentation issues slowed the foreclosure process, Blomquist said.

“We’ve all along believed the increases we’ve been seeing have been not a sign that the economy or housing market was heading back downhill, but that the housing market was finally dealing with the distress caused by the housing bubble bursting several years ago,” he said.

In Northwest Indiana, the results were mixed in Lake and Porter counties. The number of foreclosure filings in Porter County last month jumped 44 percent from a year ago, to 88, and rose 66 percent from January. In Lake County, the number dropped 33 percent last month from a year ago, to 298, and fell 39 percent from January.

In the Chicago area, foreclosure starts rose to 4,603 from 4,195 in January, but sank from 5,226 in February 2012.

Bank repossessions fell to 2,973 from 4,006 in January and from 3,498 in February 2012.

Statewide, 12,671 homes received a filing in February, down 10 percent from January and down 4.7 percent from February 2012.

The state had the third highest rate of foreclosure filings for the second month in a row, with one in every 417 homes receiving a filing.

In the Chicago area, one in every 331 homes received a filing.

Nationally, the number of homes receiving foreclosure filings edged up 2 percent from January to 154,281, but fell 25 percent from February 2012. One in every 849 homes received a filing last month.

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