• 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

  • Illinois Unemployment Rate Hits Double-Digits Again

    The jobless rate in Illinois hit 10 percent for the first time since August 2010 after unemployment in the state rose in September for the fifth straight month, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on October 20, 2011. The Illinois Department of Employment Security “blamed the increase on continued weakness in consumer confidence nationwide but noted a sharp drop in construction jobs in September,” although industry experts told Crain’s that a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit is holding back government construction spending.

    While the Department of Employment Security reported Illinois employers created 1,600 new jobs in September, the number of unemployed people rose to 663,300. The latest figure is 10,500 more than in August and an increase of 1.6 percent, but Crain’s noted that state unemployment rates “do not include people who haven’t looked for work in the previous month, so the real number of unemployed, while not tracked at the state level, is higher.”

    Construction employers suffered the biggest losses with 3,000 jobs cut in September, falling from 205,200 jobs to 202,200. Crain’s said the biggest increase was among employers of educational and health services workers, who added 4,900 jobs in September for a total 854,500.

    Are you one of the state residents who recently became unemployed? Or have you been out of work and unable to fund a new job for many months? Has your employment situation made it difficult to pay bills and left you seeking foreclosure help ? Even without a job, a bankruptcy means test can help determine a better way for you to manage your financial obligations. Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help you end debt collector harassment through a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have the right to keep your home even when you are struggling to find work, and our firm can help you do that when you contact our office for a free consultation.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys