From 2008 to 2010, 8.7% of foreclosures filed in Cook County, Illinois, were zombie foreclosures, accruing to more than 5,800 zombie properties in the city of Chicago. But this is just the beginning.
According to a recent report from the Woodstock Institute, if the trend continues, there will be an additional 7,200 zombie properties in Cook County, including nearly 3,200 in the city of Chicago, by 2015.
“Zombie properties will make it harder for Cook County to recover fully from the housing crisis, especially in the neighborhoods where they are concentrated,” Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock Institute, said.
“Zombies introduce an element of uncertainty that poses barriers to returning homes to productive use or finding creative ways to deal with blighted properties,” Cowan said.
When the foreclosure crisis hit Cook County, it reported 217,035 foreclosure filings and 89,327 properties sold at auction between 2008 and 2012.
And the county felt each one.
Since a zombie property is a foreclosure that has not been resolved for more than three years, usually because neither the borrower nor servicer has a strong incentive to assume responsibility, the houses are likely to be poorly maintained or blighted, which in turn threatens the stability of surrounding communities.