CHICAGO (WBBM) — The new year doesn’t offer much hope of an end to the foreclosure crisis.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports the number of families losing their homes just keeps growing.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Bragiel reports.

Final numbers won’t be in until the middle of the month, but the latest projections for the just-ended year suggest close to 52,000 new foreclosure cases in Cook County in 2010.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that figure is in line with a steady upward trend that began five years ago. In 2006, Cook County foreclosures totaled under 19,000, then soared more than 70 percent in 2007 to more than 32,000.

Jeff Smith of the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute tells the newspaper that rising unemployment has led to a shift in foreclosures from the subprime group, now to middle- and higher-income families in the suburbs.

Smith says struggling homeowners can’t sell, because often, their homes are worth less than what they owe on their mortgages.

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