Chicago: Ahead of LA and NYC in foreclosures

Megan Cotrell

Think Chicago is the forlorn second city? Think again. We've got LA and NYC beat in one department: foreclosures. 

The Center for Housing Policy recently released its website -, which has a wealth of recent data on foreclosures and delinquent loans for metropolitan areas all over the nation. Among the data is a ranking of the 366 largest U.S. metro areas by foreclosure rate (.xls) as of March of 2010. Where did Chicago shake out? 51.

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Now, 51 of 366 might not sound that bad, right? But when you look at the list, you see that the cities beating us out are munchkins in comparison. Janesville, Wis., Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. and even Lima, Ohio - the town where Glee supposedly takes place - all lie ahead of the Chicago metro area. The only real contenders ranked higher than us are metro areas like Las Vegas, Miami and Cleveland.

The Los Angeles area? It sits at 98. New York City region? 72.

And in case you thought the foreclosure problem was waning here as the economy gets better, let me stop you right there. Chicago also made the top 25 metro areas whose delinquency rates have grown over the last year. Chicago is 19 there. In 2009, our serious delinquency rate was 8 percent. As of 2010, it's hit 12 percent.

Just where within the city is foreclosure at its worst?

I took a look at the data set and found the top five Chicago zip codes-- though it's worth noting that south suburban Harvey was second on the list when you included the burbs. These areas were ranked by "Intra-metro foreclosure needs score," which is a score created by the Center for Housing Policy. It compares the number of foreclosures and delinquencies within the Chicagoland area and ranks them against each other. The highest possible score is 100, which means that community has the highest need. A score of 50 would mean a community is half as needy as a place with a score of 100.


Among Chicago zip codes, these were the worst off:

But a Chicago Reporter analysis of where the city's foreclosure relief funds are being spent shows that they're not always hitting the most needy areas. of mid-June the city had acquired 39 properties in the targeted neighborhood stabilization communities with the lowest foreclosure rates -- at 10.8 percent or less -- compared with 47 properties in the hardest hit communities.

For more from reporter Angela Caputo on that subject, read our June analysis of the city's use of neighborhood stabilization funds.

These needy neighborhoods may have been targeted by lenders for subprime loans. After a Reporter analysis of lending by Wells Fargo, showing that the company discriminated against African-American and Latino lenders when issuing mortgages, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against the company, along with several other big cities.

To see the complete data set for the Chicago metropolitan area and foreclosure and delinquency scores for every city zip code, download our excel file of data from the National Housing Center.

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