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Homeowners seeing fewer foreclosures nationwide

The housing crisis that swept the nation a decade ago may be rebounding, at least as far as foreclosures are concerned. It used to be the case that foreclosed upon homes -- sitting vacant with their lawns unmowed and windows and doors boarded up - were an all too common sight in DuPage County, and across the nation. These foreclosed upon properties were not only detrimental to the homeowners, but they even brought down the value of their neighbors' property as well.

However, this trend may be reversing. According to one report, in April foreclosure filings have been reduced to levels not seen since November 2005. Per the report, in April only about 0.06 percent of homeowners were given a notice that their home was being foreclosed upon. In fact, the number of foreclosure filings in April went down 7 percent from the previous month. In the worst of the housing crisis, foreclosure filings were issued to one out of every 352 homes.

One reason that may account for the decrease in foreclosure filings has to do with new laws that have been instituted since the recession. For example, there are stricter standards that lenders must use when deciding whether to approve a mortgage. In addition, there has been an uptick in home prices, meaning that if a homeowner needs to, he or she may be able to use the equity in their home to their benefit. For example, they may choose to refinance their mortgage as a means for staying in their home. In addition, they may be able to use the equity in their home to obtain a loan that will help them with their financial problems. Or, if they want, they can simply sell their home at a price that allows them to make a profit.

That being said, foreclosures are still taking place. For example, in Illinois, is fifth in the nation in the number of foreclosure filings. In fact, in Rockford, Illinois, foreclosure filings are sitting at a rate of one in every 668 homes.

Nevertheless, the future is looking brighter for homeowners. Alternatives to foreclosures exist that homeowners facing financial problems can take advantage of. In addition to refinancing, obtaining a home equity loan or selling their home, homeowners always have the option of filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is often a good way for Illinois residents to discharge their debts, paving the way towards a brighter financial future.

Source: realtor.com, "Foreclosure Filings Hit Lowest Level Since Height of Housing Market," Clare Trapasso, May 11, 2017

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