Foreclosures in Chicago's Cook County -- one of the nation's traditional hotspots for foreclosure activity -- have risen more than 58 percent during the first two months of 2008, according to a story published Friday by Crain's Chicago Business. 7,361 foreclosure cases were filed in the county's Circuit Court in January and February, Dorothy Kinnaird, presiding judge the court's Chancery Division, told Crain's. That's up 58 percent from the 4,668 cases filed in the year-ago period. Kinnaird said she expects more than 44,000 foreclosure filings in Cook County during 2008, and increase of 35 percent from last year's numbers. HW has reported on national foreclosures rising, particularly in so-called "bubble states" such as California, Nevada and Florida. The rise of foreclosures in the Chicago area suggests that material weakness in the U.S. economy is hitting traditionally weaker housing markets just as hard; this means that the troubles in housing aren't just limited to places where borrowers took the most risk. In turn, this means that any Federal program that focuses on helping bailing out troubled borrowers in a now-deflating bubble would miss helping subsidizing those areas more traditionally blighted by high foreclosure activity. All foreclosures are not created equal, after all. Kinnaird noted a side-effect of the surge in foreclosure filings as well, telling Crain's that judges have had to be shifted to "full-time foreclosure duty" in an attempt to manage the caseload within Cook County alone.