Crain's Business News announced last week that New Lenox was among the top 10 municipalities with the least amount of foreclosures in the Chicago region.
New Lenox was tied with Naperville and Highland Park in achieving a foreclosure rate of a mere 2.5 percent per every 1,000 mortgageable properties.
The communities with the most foreclosures in the Chicago region included Dolton, Bellwood and Round Lake Beach. Read the whole story in Crain's Business News.
Read below for the top 10 communities with the lowest foreclosure rates in Chicago.
Last week at the New Lenox Village Board meeting, Mayor Tim Baldermann lauded the fact that New Lenox was on par with communities such as Wilmette and Lake Forest.
In a later interview with New Lenox Patch, Baldermann revealed the details of an up-close-and-personal analysis of what the low rate of foreclosures mean.
"We (at the village) do what we can to help, but honestly it's the commitment by the people," he said.
The village supports businesses by offering free video commercials and interviews on NLCTV. The administrative staff is on top of programs that ensure a healthy environment, including the newly introduced Leaf Collection Program this coming fall and the maintenance of streets and sanitation. The board of trustees are careful to guard the taxpayers' dollars.
The concert series, the French Market, the Movie Nights and the New Lenox Park District-sponsored Proud American Days Festival definitely add value and improve the "quality of life in New Lenox," he said.
"We'll continue to do everything we can," he said.
Still, the sluggish economy and the negative ramifications for individuals and families is a real issue in this community and across the nation. But the response here has been great, Baldermann said.
"People here help one another," he said pointing out the numerous programs to benefit veterans and those who've recently joined the ranks of the needy through no fault of their own. "It means our people in this community have got their priorities straight. New Lenox is made up of people who care about families. They care about living in a safe environment. They work hard, doing whatever it takes to provide for their families."
"Maybe that means families moving in together" to stay in New Lenox and to protect that "quality of life" that they've come to know.
"I am very passionate about New Lenox. New Lenox is not made up of people looking for a hand-out. They come together like a community should."
As his voice got a touch shaky, Baldermann paused for a moment. Then he said, "I think that's why we have fewer foreclosures."
The "hard work and commitment by residents" is beginning to show, said Nancy Hoehn, village economic director. Speaking of weathering the recession, she said, "I think its created stability. I've seen an up-tick in business in New Lenox."
New businesses and housing developments are drawn to the community precisely because it didn't decline.
Hoehn said that because the village managed its budget well and the people in the community worked together to maintain a strong community, the village has benefitted. It has "made New Lenox more attractive." Businesses and developers are actively seeking evidence of that kind of stability. That business story is "a good marketing tool for us."
"I think the Crain's Business (story) is something to be proud of," she said. It captured the outcome, the economic bottomline, that was preserved because the community has strength and a hard-working spirit.
"The people in this community didn't overspend on their homes. They're conservative in their spending," which helped to keep them afloat in hard times.
"This is good news," Hoehn said.
According to Crain's, "the hardest-hit communities had more than 20 lender-owned homes for every 1,000 mortgageable properties, compared with one or two lender-owned homes in the least-affected towns."
New Lenox ranks at 2.5, one of the lowest among the 100 largest Chicago suburbs. Here's the 10 communities able to best swim through the recession:
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