Mortgage Crisis

A new report says almost one-third of Illinois homes are ``deeply underwater'' meaning that they're worth at least 25 percent less than what's owed on the loans. 

The report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac says that represents almost 775,000 Illinois homes. The report is based on data from December.  

Only Nevada and Florida fare worse, with 38 percent and 34 percent of homes deeply underwater, respectively. 

But the report has some good news.

Nationally, the percentage of deeply underwater homes is falling.  

Brokers aren't as heavily regulated as other industries, offering some leeway for the unethical to trick consumers into bad loans. As it stands, brokers also have the right to charge high fees.

State Rep. Esther Golar gets upset every time she sees an abandoned building in her district. She recalls a walk she took down the 6100 block of South Carpenter in Englewood, where she counted nine single-family homes and two-flats that had been hit by foreclosure.