So, another week, and yet more news the U.S. housing market is slowly returning to normal.
Numbers released on Tuesday by the Commerce Department show that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That's up from 910,000 in January. And it's the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December's rate of 982,000.
Illinois homeowners facing foreclosure may soon be eligible for up to $35,000 in mortgage assistance.
Gov. Pat Quinn announced that beginning April 1 the Illinois Housing Development Authority is increasing the amount eligible households may receive from the Illinois Hardest Hit program. Currently homeowners may receive $25,000.
Quinn's office says the increase will help an additional 500 families keep their homes.
The program is funded through the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Quinn says it has helped more than 7,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure since 2011.
A judge in St. Louis city has halted enforcement of the city's new foreclosure mediation ordinance.
Robert Dierker issued the temporary restraining order today, which prohibits any city officials from enforcing the ordinance. Dierker does take care to note that voluntary participation in mediation is still allowed. A hearing on a preliminary injunction is scheduled for March 20.
Late Wednesday afternoon Associate Circuit Judge Brenda Stith Loftin ruled that St. Louis County does have the authority to enforce a new ordinance that requires banks offer mediation to homeowners on the edge of foreclosure.
St. Louis County Counselor Pat Reddington said their central argument before the court was that they were not trying to regulate banks.
“We’re trying to protect our residents,' Reddington said. "We argued, and the court found, that was in the kind of police power the county has.”