1. Thousands of abandoned foreclosures, unregistered vacant homes may be costing Chicago as much as $36 million, says new report

This post highlights key findings from our report, “Left Behind: Troubled foreclosed properties and servicer accountability in Chicago”, which put numbers on a problem that many in the Chicago region had witnessed: homes getting stuck in the foreclosure crisis without resolution, often without clear ownership and proper oversight. The report laid the groundwork for a City of Chicago ordinance and a Cook County ordinance requiring stronger maintenance of vacant homes in foreclosure.


2. Data stories: How more Americans are becoming renters

Even though Americans are forming households at higher rates, few are able to branch out into homeownership. This post shows a visual representation of the trends that keep more Americans renting.


3. Data Stories: Visualizing the Foreclosure Backlog

Courts across the country are overloaded by foreclosure cases. This map from the New York Times shows how long it would take to work through existing foreclosures at the current pace—in Illinois, that would take a decade.


4. Chicago region foreclosures continue to rise in 2010, despite year-end “robo-signing” moratoria

Our year-end 2010 foreclosure fact sheet found that new foreclosures in the Chicago region reached nearly 80,000, even though foreclosures were halted at the end of the year as servicers examined their processes in the wake of the robo-signing scandal.


5. Left behind: Lender walkaways amplify negative effects of foreclosure in hardest-hit neighborhoods

Why would a servicer decide to stop pursuing a foreclosure and leave the home in a legal limbo? This post explores the phenomenon of servicer walkaways and the negative impacts they have on surrounding communities.


6. Home mortgage lending plummets in neighborhoods of color: National study exposes possible redlining and unequal access to credit

Woodstock Institute collaborated with organizations across the country to study how trends in refinance lending changed in white communities and communities of color. The report found that refinance originations in white communities rose by 125 percent, while originations in communities of color declined 17 percent.


7. New data illustrate a logjam in Chicago region foreclosure processes

We examined how the lengthening foreclosure process in the Chicago region impacted the flow of foreclosures in our first half 2011 foreclosure fact sheet. The data showed that significant declines in foreclosure filings and auctions were likely related to record-high foreclosure process times.


8. Principal reduction program off to a slow start: June HAMP Analysis

This monthly HAMP analysis takes a look at the progress of the Principal Reduction Alternative program, which is meant to encourage servicers to reduce principal—and the progress is not too impressive.


9. Women in Cook County’s communities of color file bankruptcy at disproportionately high rates, finds new report

Our report “Bridging the Gap II: Examining Trends and Patterns of Personal Bankruptcy in Cook County’s Communities of Color” found that women in African-American communities in Cook County file for bankruptcy at much higher rates and that bankruptcy filers in African-American communities are more likely to choose Chapter 13 than Chapter 7. Roxie King, a nurse and grandmother, told us her story about going through Chapter 13 in a video.


10. What a Qualified Residential Mortgage is and how it could affect access to credit for communities of color

QRMs have been buzzing around the financial reform debate recently. This post explains what QRMs are and why they matter to preserving access to sustainable mortgage credit.