SPRINGFIELD - In an effort to stem the high number of foreclosures in central Illinois, Governor Quinn’s Mortgage Relief Project on February 26th will be visiting United Baptist Church in Springfield to help area homeowners take advantage of programs that can help them stay in their homes.
The Springfield event is being co-hosted by State Senator Larry Bomke (R-Springfield), State Representative Raymond Poe (R-Springfield), State Representative Rich Brauer (R-Petersburg), and Springfield Mayor Frank Edwards. It will be the 18th stop in a statewide tour that began in the summer of 2009.
The Mortgage Relief Project offers property owners free on-site assistance to rework their mortgages and prevent foreclosure. Homeowners who have recently fallen behind on their mortgage payments can obtain a 90-day grace period by entering housing counseling, according to the Homeowner Protection Act, a law enacted in 2009 by Governor Quinn. The Act requires that all lenders and loan servicers notify homeowners who are at least 30 days late on their mortgage payments that they have 30 days to seek housing counseling to get their loan back on track. If a homeowner enters housing counseling, they get an additional 30-day grace period on foreclosure in order to work out a payment plan or refinance option.
Mortgage Relief Project outreach events are administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).
Recent media reports have highlighted deficiencies in the foreclosure procedures of many lenders. Illinois, along with several other states, has been looking into these reported problems. In the wake of the heightened scrutiny, many lenders and loan servicing companies will be in attendance at the Springfield Mortgage Relief Project outreach event. Concerned homeowners, who may already be in foreclosure, are encouraged to attend to learn the latest information from their lender, as well as the state’s efforts to help Illinois homeowners keep their homes or, at least, to ensure that they are being treated fairly.
The event will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, February 26th at Union Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, 1405 E. Monroe Street, Springfield, Ill. The free workshops will offer helpful advice about mortgage refinancing, foreclosure prevention, legal rights, credit counseling and avoiding scam artists. Homeowners can also obtain private, one-on-one housing counseling with HUD-certified counselors and are encouraged to bring their latest mortgage documents (bills, statements, notices, etc.), two most recent paystubs, and their state ID or driver’s license.
For more information or to receive immediate assistance in advance of the Springfield event, please call IDFPR’s toll-free consumer hotline (800) 532-8785 or visit www.idfpr.com or www.ihda.org. A list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in Illinois can be found at www.hud.gov.
(Editor’s Note: IDFPR Secretary Brent E. Adams and IHDA Executive Director Gloria L. Materre are available for pre-event interviews to discuss Mortgage Relief Project goals and benefits in advance of the February 26th event. Please call Louis Pukelis at (312) 814-0778 to schedule an interview.)