Quad Cities is one of top 20 metros with worst foreclosure rates in nation

More than a decade after the national housing crisis, four Illinois communities still have some of the worst foreclosure rates in the nation.

Attom Data Solutions’ quarterly foreclosure report shows that Rockford, Peoria, Cook County and the Quad Cities are all in the top 20 metropolitan areas in terms of foreclosures per total homes in the first quarter of 2018.

Vice President Daren Blomquist said the housing crisis is so far gone that Illinois’ foreclosure woes can longer be blamed on that.

“[Illinois] loans originated in the last seven years since the end of the Great Recession are performing not as well as the rest of the country and falling into default at higher rates,” he said.

At one foreclosure for every 335 homes, the Rockford metropolitan area has the seventh-highest foreclosure rate in the nation.

Bob Nieman, a veteran Rockford real estate agent, said his area’s lagging economy and high property taxes are the biggest reasons for so many bank-owned homes.

“Add high taxes with high crime and you’ve got an exodus from the state of Illinois and the Rockford area,” he said, adding that banks are extraordinarily hesitant to list homes that they’re sitting on.

Illinois had the fourth-highest percentage of foreclosed homes in the nation, behind New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

The situation does appear to be improving, Blomquist said, with foreclosures dropping nearly 25 percent year-over-year.

“We’re getting closer to a point where the foreclosure activity in Illinois is, maybe, normal,” he said.

The average foreclosure proceeding in Illinois is falling but still among the nation’s longest, averaging 791 days.