We previously discussed last year’s high-profile national foreclosure settlement with the nation’s largest lenders. Stemming from wide-ranging illegal and deceptive practices over the years leading up to the housing crisis, the lenders agreed to provide a large sum of money to affected homeowners. Much of those funds were doled out to individual states and used in various ways to provide relief.
Illinois already received a large chunk of money early last year as part of that settlement arranged by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. However, now it looks like even more money is headed this way from the fund. Shortly before Christmas the Attorney General announced that she secured even more money--about $70 million--to help distressed homeowners. The money will be used on various relief services and counseling for communities hardest hit by foreclosures and vacant properties.
Attorney General Madigan’s office played a central role in the original lawsuit filed against the mortgage lenders which ended in February with a $25 billion settlement with the nation’s five largest banks--Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and Ally (GMAC). The main issue in the lawsuit was the use of “robo-signing” and other processes that violated rules and fairness standards for consumers.
In describing the latest increase in funds to the state as part of the settlement, the Attorney General noted that “This settlement sought to help struggling families to save their homes and rebuild communities devastated by the housing crisis. This grant funding will do both — help more people stay in their homes and invest in renewing our neighborhoods.”
Fighting Foreclosure in Oak Park
Our foreclosure defense lawyers know that all funds devoted to help in these ways is encouraging. Though, while $70 million may seem like a large sum, it is a pittance to the resources at the disposal of the largest banks who often do anything in their power to maximize their bottom line, even if it violates the rights of homeowners.
At the end of the day, the only way for local families to ensure they are treated properly every step of the way by lenders to to have a legal advocate on their side fighting for their rights. Our experienced team has helped countless families stay in their homes, beating back banks who did not follow the law in securing the mortgage and foreclosing on the home. If you are facing foreclosure, we encourage you to reach out to our office and see how we can help.