Huge drop in foreclosed home prices reported in Chicago and many cities nationwide

According to the S&P and Case-Shiller index of property values,  at least 20 cities' home prices  fell 3.3 percent in just a year-the biggest single year drop since November 2009. Year-over-year statistics provides the best indications of trends in pricing.

Many bankruptcy and foreclosure attorneys predict that prices will keep falling as the number of foreclosed homes grows. Most economists agree.

"Housing will continue to lag the recovery until foreclosures abate," said Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets Inc. in Toronto. "The negative wealth effect from home price declines seems to be more than offset by stock market gains [and] the economy is moving in the right direction."

Phoenix led the group of 20 cities with an 8.4 percent slump followed by an 8.3 percent in Minneapolis. Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, and Miami showed the lowest prices since 2006.  In Chicago, along with many of the other large cities, bankruptcy attorneys have seen a large increase in business due to the dramatic rise of foreclosure rates.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner believes it is "going to take a long time" to fix the housing market.  Continuing, Geithner stressed that "we're just at the beginning of trying to figure out how to fix that mess." Most bankruptcy lawyers agree with the Secretary's advisement.

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