Illinois leads the nation in foreclosures in 2022

Bryce Hill

Director of Fiscal and Economic Research

Bryce Hill

Matthew Badali

Economic Research Intern

Matthew Badali
July 29, 2022

Illinois leads the nation in foreclosures in 2022

Illinois homeowners are most likely in the nation to be in foreclosure. The looming $2,100 property tax hike from Amendment 1 would make housing even more unaffordable.

Illinois experienced over 14,000 foreclosures in the first six months of 2022, the highest rate in the nation.

One in every 385 housing units – or about 0.26% of homes – either received a default notice, had an auction scheduled or was repossessed by the bank. Instances of foreclosures in Illinois have nearly tripled from last year and are up 12% from two years ago.

Record-high inflation, rising interest and mortgage rates and second-highest in the nation property taxes make everyday expenses more difficult to manage for Illinoisans. Illinois’ tough fiscal climate compounds national economic pressures, causing more homeowners to fall behind on their mortgage payments. During the first six months of 2022, Illinoisans were more likely to fall into foreclosure than in any other state, according to data recently released from ATTOM – a real estate data aggregator.

Foreclosure rates in neighboring states are all significantly lower than in Illinois. Illinoisans are 63% more likely to be in in foreclosure than homeowners in Indiana – the neighbor with the next-highest foreclosure rate. Meanwhile, Illinoisans are twice as likely to be in foreclosure than Michigan (0.13%) homeowners; 2.4 times more likely to be in foreclosure than Iowa (0.11%) homeowners; 2.9 times more likely to be in foreclosure than Missouri (0.09%) homeowners; 3.7 times more likely to be in foreclosure than Wisconsin (0.07%) homeowners; and 6.5 times more likely to be in foreclosure than Kentucky (0.04%) homeowners.

At the metro level, Chicago and Rockford tied for fourth place nationally with a foreclosure rate of 0.3% each. Springfield was one of the few metro areas in the nation to see foreclosure filings decline.

Nationally, foreclosures have been decreasing every year since 2010, at least until this year. Between January and June 2022 there were a total of 164,581 foreclosures nationally – at a rate of 0.12% of homes – a 153% increase from last year. However, foreclosures are still down 0.57% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Foreclosing on a home does not happen overnight. People and families often struggle and fight to make what payments they can, but Illinoisans face especially tall hurdles. Illinois has the second-highest property taxes in the country, meaning many Illinoisans will struggle to find room in their budgets for housing costs and everyday necessities. As many face the decision between housing and other essentials, it is no surprise they can fall into foreclosure.

While many cannot afford to escape the state’s high taxes and the possibility of foreclosure, those who can are doing so. Taxes and employment opportunities are some of the top reasons people flee to other states. Even some of the state’s top companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel have left Illinois for better business climates. In total, nearly half of Illinoisans have thought about moving out of state with taxes to blame. Those left behind are stuck with little help.

Illinoisans will face more financial hurdles if Amendment 1 passes this November. Amendment 1 would give unions both private and public unprecedented power and would result in a $2,149 property tax increase for homeowners. This tax hike alone would be devastating to those worried about losing their homes. But, Amendment 1’s power would also further inflate the state’s $313 billion pension debt. More pension debt means increased taxes and revenues would be diverted to the ballooning debt instead of being used to pay for vital programs for those most in need.

While many are forced to choose between everyday essentials and paying off their growing housing expenses, Illinoisans must remember there is still hope. Before November, Illinoisans should take a hard look at Amendment 1 and its potential to increase taxes on families and businesses. Illinoisans should also continue to fight for responsible pension reform and hold politicians and union leaders accountable for the tax burdens they place on their constituents’ shoulders.

Foreclosures and taxes may be high, but Illinoisans still have the power to fight for their homes, livelihoods and futures in the voting booth on Nov. 8.

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!