• As Foreclosures Take More Time To Complete, Is Time Running Out For Those Needing Help?

    The good news from Chicago nonprofit research and policy organization the Woodstock Institute is that the 3,604 properties that completed the foreclosure process in the six counties of the Chicago region for the second quarter of 2011 was a 27 percent decline from the first quarter and the fewest auctions in any period since the housing crisis began in 2007. However, Medill Reports also pointed out on October 25, 2011, that the average number of days spent in the foreclosure process increased to 359 days in the second quarter, a 25.5 percent increase from the same period in 2010 and the highest since 2008.

    The 8,515 foreclosure auctions in the first half of 2011 represents a 51 percent decline from the 17,331 during the first half of 2010, but Woodstock senior research and project associate Sarah Duda told Medill that a prolonged foreclosure process cuts both ways. “It means that vacant homes in foreclosure have more time to become blighted and destabilize neighborhoods,” Duda told Medill. “If a family is still in the home, however, the longer process could give them more time to negotiate a solution with their loan servicer.”

    Those seeking foreclosure help had a little more time to work with when “robo-signing” caused mortgage servicers to halt foreclosure filings. As Chicago aldermen explore the possibility of a separate court process for foreclosed properties to help cut into the backlog, it would be the families hoping to save their homes who might suffer.

    Are you facing foreclosure and searching for a way to keep your house? If you are struggling through hard times because of job loss, credit card debt or a mountain of medical bills, your first step toward financial recovery could be a bankruptcy means test . A Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help discharge your unsecured debt and either discharge or reorganize your secured debt. Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help outline your options in dealing with a foreclosure. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Home Prices Rise Again, But Will It Help?

    Home prices in the Chicago rose 1.4 percent in August for the fourth consecutive monthly increase, the Chicago Tribune reported on October 25, 2011. The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index reported August home prices were down 5.8 percent from a year ago, on par with their April 2002 levels, but Chicago and the rest of the Midwest has seen some of the best improvements in the index during the past several months.

    “The Midwest is one region that really stands out in terms of recent relative strength,” David Spitzer, chairman of S&P Indices’ index committee, told the Tribune. “Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis have all posted very sharp monthly increases going back to May. These markets were some of the weakest during the crisis, particularly Detroit.”

    Nationally, home prices remain below where they were a year ago in 18 of the 20 cities included in the monthly index. Only Detroit and Washington, D.C. reported year-over-year gains, up 2.7 percent, and 0.3 percent, respectively.

    While foreclosure activity typically peaks when prices bottom out, are you still seeking foreclosure help even as home prices around Chicago rise? Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers want you to know that if you are struggling to keep your house, you do have options. Our firm can assist you in filing a bankruptcy means test that can determine the best way for you to manage your debt. Whether you are unemployed or have a mountain of credit card or medical bills making it difficult to pay your mortgage every month, a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy can effectively give you a fresh start with your finances. If you want to put an end to creditor harassment, contact our office today to see how we can help.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys