It has been almost a full decade since the housing market crisis was at its lowest point. In late 2009, nearly 25 percent of homes with a mortgage were underwater—meaning that the value of the home was less than the amount remaining on the mortgage. Millions of homeowners across the country were forced to deal with the reality of foreclosure.
Now, it is 10 years later, and across the country, the situation has largely improved. Today, less than 4 percent of the nation’s mortgaged homes have negative equity. In Illinois, however, things have been much slower to recover, and about 8 percent of the mortgaged homes in the state are still underwater—approximately twice the national average. At least one expert believes that the state’s foreclosure laws have contributed to the slower recovery.
High Property Taxes, Slow Foreclosures, and Oppressive Red Tape
The aforementioned numbers were compiled by CoreLogic, a leading provider of property, consumer, and financial analytics. Frank Nothaft is the chief economist for CoreLogic, and he acknowledged his concerns about the health of the Illinois housing market. In the last year, home equity did increase by an average of $1,300 per mortgaged home, but that increase just barely kept pace with inflation, Nothaft said.
According to Nothaft, the problems facing the Illinois housing market are multi-faceted. Income growth has been slower in Illinois compared to other states, and property taxes are among the highest in the country. The state’s population is also declining overall. In addition, the laws that govern foreclosure in Illinois create one of the longest timelines for repossession of a home of any state in the nation.
During the housing crisis in 2009, Illinois passed a law that prohibited lenders from filing for foreclosure until a borrower was at least 120 days delinquent—extending the previous time-frame of 90 days. A later amendment to the law placed a whole host of responsibilities on the lender, ostensibly trying to help homeowners but having the unintended effect of lengthening the foreclosure process. Nothaft said that the combination of complicated laws and the extra red tape caused many homes to remain vacant without any equity being added while foreclosures were pending. The overall result was the housing recession lasting much longer in Illinois than in other parts of the country.
A Lake County Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Can Help
While large-scale data reports like this one can help homeowners understand the overall health of the housing market, they mean very little to someone who is facing the frightening possibility of foreclosure on their own home. If you are behind on your mortgage and you are receiving threatening letters and calls from your lender, contact an experienced Libertyville foreclosure attorney at Newland & Newland, L.L.P. today. Call 847-549-0000 to schedule a free phone consultation and get the help you need today.