Monday, March 12, 2012

National Foreclosure Settlement to be Finalized

Our Oak Park foreclosure attorneys are pleased to see that the $25 billion national foreclosure settlement that was reached last month should was expected to be officially filed in federal court sometime last Friday or early his week.  The settlement between several major United States banks and state and federal governments was announced in February. It is the result of a suit filed by attorneys general from every state and the federal government.  Forty nine  states agreed to the settlement, as did the federal government.  Although the settlement was reached and announced about a month ago, filing it in federal court will make it official and legally binding on all involved parties. 

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), told reporters, “The hardest work is ahead of us.”  States will now have to begin the difficult task of figuring out how best to allocate the funds received in the settlement among the many people who have lost homes or who are close to losing their homes as a result of the severely depressed housing market.   In addition to the $25 billion in funding, the banks involved in the settlement will provide mortgage assistance programs and refinancing to help more people be able to save their homes from foreclosure. 

Naturally, as Cook County foreclosure attorneys, we are most concerned with how the national settlement, once it is finalized and entered into the court's records, will benefit residents of Illinois and especially those in our local communities.  The Chicago Tribune reports that the settlement is expected to be able to help about 60,000 former and current homeowners across the state of Illinois, and this number does not take into account the $10 billion that will be applied to mortgages all across the country in order to reduce the amount owed and help people get back on track.  Sadly, the problem that has led to foreclosure for many families is the inability to get out from under their mortgages because they owe more to the bank than their home is actually worth.  Therefore, even if they would be fortunate enough to find a buyer for their houses in this difficult economy, they would not be able to fully pay off the mortgage loan.  This often results in them falling further and further behind on their payments and feeling as though there is no way out except for foreclosure.

However, there are usually other methods that can be employed if homeowners in our area talk to a foreclosure defense attorney who is experienced working with mortgages and foreclosures before it is too late.  Now, with the implementation of the settlement and the allocation of funds getting started, homeowners will have even more possible options to help them save their homes, as well as their credit.  Over 3,000 Illinois homeowners have already started investigating how they might benefit from the settlement.  Our attorneys can assist you in determining whether you are qualified to receive help with your own mortgage.

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