New efforts are under way to put the brakes on home foreclosures in Illinois. The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network is hooking up distressed homeowners with counselors who know what their options are, and who have experience dealing with banks, says Mary Kenny, director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
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“The counselors are just a wealth of information. They’ve really kept up with a constantly changing area, and so the counselors are just a huge resource and are great facilitators in terms of helping homeowners work with their banks,” she said. The HUD-certified counselors, whose services are offered free to distressed borrowers, are able to push for refinancing or loan modification. Foreclosure counseling doubles the chance of modification (SOURCE: Urban Institute, December 2011). They are also aware of various programs that are available to help the truly desperate. Counselors can be located at www.KeepYourHomeIllinois.org, or on the phone at 855-4466300, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. There is also a series of regional fairs coming up, at which counselors and lenders offering to modify or refinance will be present. The first of those is scheduled for March 31 in Berwyn, with five more to be scheduled around the state. Last year, 103,000 Illinois homes were the subject of a foreclosure filing.