Foreclosures in the metro-east, which had been trending down, climbed again in July in St. Clair County.
A relatively high number of residents from St. Clair and Madison counties filed for foreclosure last month, which was contrary to national numbers.
A total of 135 homes were filed for foreclosure last month in St. Clair County, which was higher than the 119 foreclosures filed in June and even greater than the 87 recorded in July 2011.
In Madison County, 137 properties had been filed for foreclosure last month compared to the 172 filings recorded in June. However, only 75 properties had filed in July 2011.
According to the latest report by online foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac, the U.S. foreclosure rate decreased by 3 percent between June and July and dropped 10 percent compared to July 2011. The U.S. housing market witnessed its 22nd consecutive month of declining foreclosure filings.
However, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said recent foreclosure activities vary significantly from state to state. The issue "often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state's foreclosure process," Blomquist said. In states like Illinois, properties that were filed to foreclose last year were tied up in court as mortgage lenders were sorting through allegations of foreclosure abuse.
Al Suguitan, president and chief operating officer of the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors in Glen Carbon, said the rise in local filings may also be from lenders who had intended to delay the foreclosure process.
"I don't know if this is just delayed filings that have been put off to the last moment or if this is part of an overall plan to get the filings out there now, for whatever timing reasons," Suguitan said. "Sometimes I wonder if it is just a matter of timing, and the lenders say 'let's go ahead and file it.' It doesn't mean we're immediately filing for foreclosure, but seeing what shakes loose."
In Belleville, Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois President Christopher Mitchell said he has noticed the recent increase in foreclosed properties in the local market. But he said interest rates continue to plummet and are at around 3.5 percent for a 30-year, fixed mortgage. He also said consumer confidence in the market has been on the rise since the spring.
"I think we always see an increase in interest from buyers, which again is from consumer confidence," Mitchell said. "People are out looking. You still have great interest rates and there is plenty of inventory to choose from. It is a great time to buy."
Foreclosures filed in the metro-east
2012 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
St. Clair 128 109 121 126 119 119 135
Madison 115 130 131 131 112 172 137
2011 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
St. Clair 132 101 109 81 117 101 87 112 90 91 95 148
Madison 116 109 104 77 90 95 75 91 109 80 86 70
2010 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
St. Clair 159 127 167 146 129 148 137 130 142 145 120 119
Madison 127 114 146 130 135 125 105 143 147 129 99 141
2009 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
St. Clair 122 119 163 39 26 94 97 95 109 157 140 122
Madison 153 130 145 51 41 77 102 94 116 128 146 134
Source: St. Clair County/Madison County
Contact reporter Will Buss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2526.