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Foreclosures forecast to rise this year, but worst is behind us

FILE - In this July 2 2008 file phobank owned home is seen for sale SacramenCalif. The foreclosure crisis intensified

FILE - In this July 2, 2008 file photo, a bank owned home is seen for sale in Sacramento, Calif. The foreclosure crisis intensified across a majority of large U.S. metropolitan areas this summer, with Chicago and Seattle _ cities outside of the states that have shouldered the worst of the housing downturn _ seeing a sharp increase in foreclosure warnings. California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona remain the nation's foreclosure hotbeds, accounting for 19 of the top 20 metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates between July and September, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

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Updated: January 12, 2012 3:07PM

Look for home foreclosures to rise here and nationally this year, but the worst is behind us.

That’s according to RealtyTrac, which released its latest report Thursday showing the number of homes hit with foreclosure filings in the Chicago metropolitan area fell 7.6 percent last month from a year earlier. Foreclosure activity was little changed from November as documentation issues continued to slow foreclosures here and across the country.

The continuing resolution of those document problems is what’s expected to push foreclosure activity up in 2012.

“The numbers in 2011 were artificially low because of the foreclosure delays, so we will see an uptick” this year, said RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist. “But we are past the peak in this foreclosure cycle.”

The report revealed 12,075 homes in the Chicago area received a foreclosure filing last month, 11 more than in November, or up 0.09 percent. Last month, one in every 313 homes in the area received a filing.

Statewide, 12,639 homes received a filing, up 1.9 percent from November and down 10 percent from December 2010.

For the full year, 103,003 homes in Illinois received a filing, or one in every 51 homes ranking the state eighth in the country. That was down 31.9 percent from 2010, the peak year in the latest foreclosure cycle and when 151,304 homes in the state received a filing — 138,913 of them in the Chicago metropolitan area. In the Chicago area, 96,458 homes received a filing last year, down 30.6 percent.

“The worst is behind us, but foreclosures are going to continue to impact the market for the next couple of years as they’re pushed through and listed for sale and disposed of,” Blomquist cautioned.

Nationally, 205,024 homes received a filing in December, down 8.6 percent month-over month and down 20.5 percent from December 2010. One in every 634 homes across the country received a filing. For the full year, 1.89 million U.S. homes received a filing, or one in every 69 homes, down 34.3 percent from 2010.

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