By Jim Hagerty
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed legislation Dec. 26 that extends assistance for homeowners faced with losing their houses in foreclosure.
The law extends access to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) until Dec. 31, 2015.
Under the law, lenders are required to solicit modification services on certain distressed home loans and determine whether foreclosure is financially beneficial before initiating the process.
“Illinois families must have access to the tools they need to protect their home,” Quinn said. “More than 1 million families have received help through the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network, and we want to make sure even more homeowners can remain home for the holidays and the long term.”
The law strengthens Quinn’s Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN), a network of resources that offers financial counseling, legal advice and various mortgage assistance programs.
The network also includes a 2010 law that helps families avoid foreclosure if they can prove they applied for a HAMP modification and the foreclosure process violated terms of the program.
More than 45,000 Illinois homeowners have qualified for HAMP assistance since 2009.
“Gov. Quinn understands that linking homeowners with crucial assistance stabilizes communities by preventing foreclosures before they happen,” said Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director Mary R. Kenney.
In 2012, IHDA helped more than 2,700 working families qualify for more than $305 million in capital to purchase homes, a more than 770 percent increase from 2010.
“The median monthly savings for Illinois homeowners in active permanent mortgage modifications under HAMP is about $570 — and now more families statewide can apply for lower monthly payments,” Kinney added.
Quinn has been a longtime supporter of affordable housing in Illinois and made a commitment of $130 million in state capital funds to create more affordable opportunities. He’s worked to spur affordable homeownership and multifamily rental development by proclaiming 2013 as the Year of Homeownership.
The new law takes effect immediately.
From the Jan. 1-6, 2014, issue