Increasing House Prices Mean Hope for Underwater Chicago Homeowners

There's hope for Chicago homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth.

On Tuesday it was announced that home prices increased for the first time in nearly four years this February, according to The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller price index. Increasing values mean that homeowners can finally start rebuilding equity - that's the good news. The bad news is that housing prices aren't predictable, and they probably won't rise as rapidly as they once did. But who wants another bubble anyway, right?

Besides, whatever happens in the future, you're in luck just by being a homeowner - and here's why.

First and foremost, you have a roof over your head. You can't really put a price on that kind of security. But after fulfilling the basic need of shelter, a house offers something no rental can - it's a long-term investment that will most likely increase in value over time. Stocks and bonds will always be volatile, a car will always plummet in value from the day you drive it off the lot, but a house will most likely (with the exception of the occasional bubble burst) go up. People always need somewhere to live.

For those reasons, a house is probably the most important asset you will ever own. And what do you do with an important asset? You protect it. If you're upside-down on your mortgage, don't walk away. Not only will you lose your home, but you'll lose all that money you've already paid into it. If you can be patient, chances are you will eventually regain your equity - and then some.

Of course, if you really can't afford your large mortgage payments, you are at risk of losing that equity to foreclosure. Fortunately if you've already stopped making payments - or worse, you've received a foreclosure notice - you've still got time. You just have to act fast.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop foreclosure proceedings and help you pay down debt so making the mortgage every month will only get easier, no matter what the current value of your home. Don't let all that sweat and equity you've poured into your house go to waste. Find out how to protect what belongs to you when you sign up for a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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