Bad news: more Illinois homeowners are falling into foreclosure.
Last month, lenders filed initial court documents against 7,174 homeowners with delinquent mortgages, up from almost 6,900 in August, and more than the 6,700 in June.
On a state-by-state basis, Nevada had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in the July-September quarter. Arizona was No. 2, followed by California, Florida and Idaho. Rounding out the top 10 were Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado and Illinois.
The national foreclosure crisis affected nearly 938,000 properties in the July-September quarter, compared with about 890,000 in the prior three months, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac Inc. That puts foreclosure-related filings on a pace to hit about 3.5 million this year, up from more than 2.3 million last year.
Unemployment is the main reason homeowners are falling into trouble. While the economy is likely out of recession, the unemployment rate -- now at a 26-year high of 9.8 percent -- isn't expected to peak until the middle of next year.
Mortgage companies sometimes allow unemployed homeowners to defer three to six months of payments while they are looking for a job. But there's little else they can do.
"The sheer scale of the problem is preventing the loan modification programs from having the kind of impact we'd all like'' said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's senior vice president for marketing.