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Rockford Foreclosures Soared as Unemployment Worsened

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Rockford foreclosures soared in 2009 as the pace of job losses worsened in the area.

Rockford again posted the highest jobless rate among cities in Illinois at the adjusted rate of 16 percent last December. The unadjusted rate was 17.2 percent, based on figures released recently by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Foreclosure filings in the city increased by 16.2 percent from 2008 to 3,623 in 2009. One house out of every 40 houses in the city got hit with a default or foreclosure posting in 2009. Compared to 2007, the increase in filings was 60.4 percent.

In 2008, Rockford was not in the chart of 100 U.S. metro areas ranked by a California real estate firm based on foreclosure rates. In 2009, the city was ranked 53rd by the same California firm.

The only Illinois city with a higher foreclosure rate in 2009 was Chicago, which posted nearly 200,000 foreclosure filings, including foreclosed home listing data from the cities of Naperville and Joliet. With 3.2 percent of all households in the Chicago metropolitan area in foreclosure, Chicago ranked 38th among all large metro areas.

According to analysts, Rockford foreclosures surged because of the continued employment problems in the city. Rockford’s unadjusted jobless rate of 17.2 percent in December last year was far above the unadjusted statewide rate of 11.2 percent.

The unemployment problem is not only limited to Rockford. Twelve metro areas in Illinois had significant increases in their December jobless rates for the 31st consecutive month. The biggest year-over-year increase occurred in Decatur, which posted an adjusted rate of 12.9 percent. Peoria was second with an adjusted rate of 11.2 percent.

The metro area with the lowest jobless rate in December was the Bloomington area, with a 7.7-percent adjusted rate. In foreclosure-ridden Chicago, the adjusted jobless rate was 10.6 percent.

Illinois foreclosures also again reached record levels in 2009, posting more than 131,000 foreclosure filings, a 32-percent jump from the more than 99,000 foreclosures posted in 2008 and a 104-percent increase from 2007 filings. With a 2.5-percent foreclosure rate, its ranking among states remained the same at ninth place. Its rate of foreclosure in 2008 was 1.9 percent.

To prevent a sharp rise in Rockford foreclosures, several government and nonprofit agencies have been providing assistance to distressed homeowners in the area. One is the Rockford Neighborhood Development and the Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition which are offering foreclosure counseling assistance.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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