• Medical Bills Force US Congressman to Sell DC House

    We have been recently writing about the impact that foreclosures have had on Chicagoland families, but the Washington Post reported on September 19, 2012, that Illinois’ US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is selling his Washington DC home for another reason: medical bills .

    “Like millions of Americans, Congressman Jackson and Mrs. Jackson are grappling with soaring healthcare costs and are selling their residence to help defray costs of their obligations,” Jackson aide Rick Bryant said in a statement, according to the Post. “The Congressman would like to personally thank everyone who has offered prayers on behalf of his family.”

    The Post reported that the 47-year-old congressman has not been seen on Capitol Hill since returning home after seeking treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for depression. The news website Politico reported that while “reports of the home sale fueled speculation about his political future, his office has insisted that he plans on staying in office and will run for re-election in November.”

    As we have noted before, substantial debt from medical bills remains one of the most common reasons that people file bankruptcy. We will further discuss how nearly 44 million Americans are struggling with health care expenses in our next blog post, but you should know that you may be able to reduce your medical bills by filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy or eliminate them by filing Chapter 7 . Our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers can help you get started when you contact our firm at (866) 930-7482 or fill out the form located on this page.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorneys

  • Foreclosures Represent 29 Percent of Home Sales in the First Quarter

    Almost 30 percent of all homes sold in Illinois during the first quarter were foreclosures. This number is down considerably from the first quarter of 2010.

    The 5,529 homes were sold as foreclosures during the first three months of the year, ending in March. This number is down 38 percent from the previous year and down 6 percent from the last quarter of 2010. Illinois is still one of the states with the best deals for buyers.

    The average price of a foreclosed home for the first quarter is $132,983, a nearly 41 percent discount from the sales prices of non-foreclosed homes. Bank owned or repossessed properties sold for 48 percent off the sales price of non-distressed homes. Homes that are in default but not yet repossessed by lenders averaged 19 percent off the average non-foreclosure price. Short sales are not included in the data.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued its quarterly house price index on May 25, 2011. The data shows how foreclosure sales are dragging down overall home values. According to FHFA, Chicago are home prices are down 5 percent as compared to the final quarter of 2010, 9.5 percent from the period one year ago, and 26 percent from five years ago.

    If you are in need of foreclosure help, contact a Chicago foreclosure lawyer for more information.

  • Chicago foreclosures drop in March compared to last year but dramatically rise from February

    Chicago has recently received a bit of good news concerning its ultra-volatile real estate market.  In March, the city’s foreclosure filings fell 15.7 percent from last year.  However, the drop was not quite as positive as one might expect because filings still jumped 23.1 percent from February of this year. Given the large jump from February, many Chicago attorneys specializing in bankruptcies and foreclosures , warn that news, though positive, should be read with a bit of caution.

    RealtyTrac, a nationwide market watch company issued the findings.  The report also shows foreclosure filings at a three-year low across the country.  The news is good but RealtyTrac also warns that the real estate market still faces huge problems and concerns.

    According to the report, Chicago area bankruptcy filings fell 28.2 percent in the year’s first quarter compared to last year.  This year’s quarter also dropped 22.5 percent from last year’s fourth quarter.

    In March, 10,821 homes declared bankruptcy in the Chicago area, falling from 12,830 in March 2010. Approximately one in ever 350 homes file. The state ranks as the eighth worse in the country with one in every 439 homes filing in March; the total was 12,053 in March.

    Nationally, the number of homes receiving filings during the quarter dropped 26.9 percent to 681,153 from a year earlier and fell 14.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010.

    Given that bankruptcies are still a pervasive problem in Illinois, bankruptcy lawyers and government officials still warn of possible declines in the real estate market, especially in Chicago.