Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Illinois’s Foreclosure Alternative Program

Despite many efforts to lower the number of foreclosures in our state, Illinois continues to maintain a foreclosure rate that’s “still far above the national average,” according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. Recognizing the foreclosure problem in Chicago and throughout the state, a “Boston-based nonprofit is extending a lifeline to a select group of Illinois homeowners in danger of losing their homes.”
Buying Mortgages, Selling to Homeowners
What’s the plan for Boston Community Capital? It’s goal is pretty simple, and it might be able to provide some relief for homeowners in Oak Park and other neighborhoods in the Chicago area. Through the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods program, this nonprofit aims to “buy the mortgages of qualified homeowners in foreclosure from lenders at a discount, then sell the homes back to homeowners at the current market value, with lower monthly mortgage payments.”
Thus far, the program has helped more than 500 families in states such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland. In the amount of time since it began operation, Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods has purchased and resold more than 400 properties, allowing homeowners to stay in their houses at mortgage prices they can afford. “On average,” the Chicago Tribune reported, “monthly mortgages payments toward the loan balance were cut by 40 percent” after the Boston-based program got involved. The program offers participants a 30-year mortgage with a fixed 6.375 percent interest rate.
How is the program working as well as it is? And will it be able to provide as much relief to homeowners in Illinois? In short, the nonprofit’s actions serve to reduce the principal on the mortgages. That way, homeowners have lower payments, and in most cases, they’re paying less over time. Reducing the principal is “the very thing that housing advocates have called for” in order to truly lessen the foreclosure crisis, but it’s also something that has been noticeably absent from foreclosure relief programs put into place by the government.
Illinoisans in Need of Foreclosure Assistance
Are Illinoisans really in desperate need of foreclosure assistance? To be blunt, the answer is yes. Last month alone, mortgage lenders began foreclosure proceedings against nearly 2,500 homes in the Chicago area. This number represents an increase from just a month prior, with 2,397 initial filings. To put it another way, “one in every 221 residential properties in Illinois last month received a notice related to foreclosure action.” And when you compare that number with the national average, the situation looks grim. Indeed, the national average of initial foreclosure filings in March was one out of every 421 residences.
Who’s eligible for the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods program? The article reports that ideal candidates are those homeowners “who experienced hardships that put them behind on their mortgages, like unexpected medical expenses, they lost one job and found another that paid less, or they were unwitting borrowers in a predatory mortgage scheme.” The Boston-based nonprofit currently is working to identify Chicago-area homeowners who may be eligible for assistance.
Do you have questions or concerns about foreclosure? Although the real estate market is getting back on track, many families continue to deal with financial problems and the threat of foreclosure. If you need help learning about ways to keep your home, you should contact an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney today.
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