Chicagoland Foreclosure Rates Increased by 42 Percent in February

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According to the Chicago Tribune, a new report shows foreclosures sky-rocketed in the Chicagoland area in February compared to last year. The rate of foreclosures jumped by 42 percent with 11,582 properties in the seven Chicagoland counties receiving notices. Although this is a 11-percent decline over January, it still means foreclosure has soared in comparison to last year and puts Illinois as one of the 21 states that has reported annual increases in the rate of foreclosure activity.

With this announcement, here are some numbers and statistics regarding foreclosure in Chicago and efforts to reduce foreclosure and the efforts associated with vacant properties:

* The Huffington Post reported that the housing market crash hit Chicago particularly hard in 2006 and 2007 and in that short time frame, the number of abandoned and derelict properties increased by nearly 500 percent from 60 to just under 300.

* In 2010, there were approximately 15,000 vacant buildings in the Windy City, 85 percent of which were still in some stage of the foreclosure process.

* The same year, Chicago ranked well ahead of both Los Angeles and New York City in foreclosure rates by placing 51 out of 366 surveyed metropolitan areas across the nation, according to Chicago Now.

* Even though Chicago has been allotting relief funds for foreclosure, the funds are not always going towards neighborhoods with the highest foreclosure rates.

* As of July of last year, there were 70,000 outstanding foreclosure cases in Cook County, which promoted a summit in the county to address this major issue, reported WBEZ.

* This past October, CBS Local noted that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration drafted a new ordinance that would put more responsibility on banks for cleaning up and maintaining foreclosed properties in the city.

* Numerous banks expressed agreement with the new ordinance, which outlines specific responsibilities such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, boarding up entrances, and responding to neighborhood complaints regarding the building.

* Cook County passed a similar ordinance forcing mortgage companies to care for vacant properties this past December, added another article from the Chicago Tribune.

* Statistics from 2010 also showed that Chicago was spending over $15 million a year to upkeep or demolish vacant properties.

* In 2010, Chicago won a $98 million federal grant through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help fund the recycling of foreclosed homes.

* The $98 million comes in addition to receiving $55.2 million in federal stimulus funds to rehabilitate abandoned and foreclosed properties in 25 of the city's communities.

Rachel Bogart provides an in-depth look at current environmental issues and local Chicago news stories. As a college student from the Chicago suburbs pursuing two science degrees, she applies her knowledge and passion to both topics to garner further public awareness.

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