In Downtown Chicago, an ever-increasing number of home foreclosure cases is delaying foreclosure actions against certain homeowners - those who do not respond to the initial foreclosure notice. As of the end of 2008, it was estimated that as many as 80% of those served do not respond to a foreclosure action against their home.
As reported by Mary Ellen Podmolik and Azam Ahmed in last Thursday's Chicago Tribune, the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court, Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird, notified judges and attorneys several weeks ago that all Mortgage Default Calls - instances where the defaulting borrower have not responded to a Notice of Foreclosure - would be canceled for July and August.
In all, 13,196 mortgage foreclosures were filed during the First Quarter, 2009. The Order of the Presiding Judge, in effect, gives those who did not respond more time to negotiate forbearance agreements with their lenders.
The problem is a simple one! With 46,854 cases of mortgage foreclosure pending in the Circuit Court Chancery Division as of the end of February, assigned judges here in Cook County have been unable to keep up with the growing, massive case load. Kinnaird estimates the number of Cook County Foreclosure Filings will total over 53,000 this year, up over 21% from the 43,876 foreclosures filed in 2008.
The Presiding Judge mentioned that 11 additional judges and seven extra courtrooms, plus administrative staff, have been added to keep up with the foreclosure backlog since late 2005. But, still, long lag times remain, and are growing worse.
Kinnaird's order will not apply to cases where a homeowner consents to the foreclosure, or in situations where the homeowner has already answered the call of default or are in the process of fighting it.
According to RealtyTrac Data released last week, Illinois Foreclosure Activity increased sharply as lenders let lapse the voluntary moratorium they imposed on foreclosure proceedings while they awaited the Obama Administration finalization of its Housing Rescue Plan.
RealtyTrac indicates that total foreclosure activity across Illinois rose 8.3% in February as compared to March. Compared with March of last year, initial foreclosure filings jumped 46%.
Please see our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.com.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO