Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Foreclosure Prevention Network Offers Help to Chicagoland Homeowners

We recently explained that the Chicago metro area experienced a 43% jump in foreclosure filings this February, a trend which our Oak Park and RiverForest mortgage foreclosurelawyers know is a cause for concern for many Chicagoland families.  However, Illinois has created a new resource to help struggling homeowners called the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network.  The Illinois Housing Development Authority is overseeing the new program.  The Network seeks to make it easier for Illinois homeowners to take advantage of and navigate the full range of mortgage assistance programs available to them, including approximately $2 billion in funding to help with mortgage modifications and mortgage payments, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

One of the major goals of the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network is to offer homeowners a “one-stop shop approach” so that Chicagoland residents do not waste valuable time and resources soliciting assistance through the wrong programs.  Unfortunately, our Oak Parkforeclosure attorneys know it is not uncommon for homeowners to spend considerable time pursuing the wrong program only to find out they are not eligible for a certain program, when they could potentially qualify for another.  Thus, the Network is designed to connect homeowners to various state and nonprofit agencies as well as federal resources, including financial help available from the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund Program.  The Hardest Hit program provides up to $25,000 in mortgage assistance to qualified homeowners having trouble making mortgage payments due to unemployment or underemployment.  The Network also connects homeowners to a myriad of other types of aid, including mortgage modification programs, one-on-one housing counseling, unemployment assistance, and fraud prevention help.

The high number of Illinois foreclosures has been a problem for years.  According to Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive director Mary Kenney, there were more than 103,000 foreclosure filings in our state last year.  That averages out to over 8,500 foreclosures per month.

Hopefully, the coordination between multiple federal agencies and organizations across the state will provide homeowners with a better understanding of the avenues of assistance available to them under Illinois foreclosure law so they can weigh the pros and cons of every path.  Many families may believe they are not eligible for certain programs, but it is certainly worth finding out rather than missing an important opportunity.  Others may think there are no more funds available because so many homeowners are currently struggling.  For example, $445 million in federal funding was allotted to the Illinois Hardest Hit program.  Yet, according to IHDA Executive director Mary Kenney, only about $14 million of that funding has been committed to approximately 1,700 families, which means many more families can still be helped.

Additionally, the eligibility requirements for federal mortgage modification programs have been expanded making it possible for more Illinois homeowners to qualify for assistance.

Homeowners can access the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network by visiting or by calling toll free (855) 533-7411.

Those of us working in Oak Park or River Forest foreclosure understand that the process of foreclosure may seem overwhelming at times.  There is no shame in asking for help.  Our experienced attorneys are well versed in Illinois foreclosure law and will do our best to provide you with the assistance you need to modify your loan, protect your home from foreclosure, or pursue other avenues, if that is your wish.  If your home is in danger of foreclosure, please consider contacting the Emerson Law Firm for a confidential consultation today.

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