The Illinois attorney general’s office is distributing $20 million to legal aid services over the next three years to help homeowners facing foreclosure. The money comes from Illinois’ share of the $25 billion mortgage fraud settlement with the five biggest banks: Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure can’t expect a favorable outcome if they don’t have legal representation.
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“I have long ago stopped telling people to try to deal with this on their own. You need to have an advocate. You need to be working with a housing counselor, a certified housing counselor and/or a lawyer, in order to actually have success when it comes to getting a modification,” she said.  The money will allow legal aid organizations to hire lawyers and paralegals to represent homeowners who are facing foreclosure and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, at a cost of possibly tens of thousands of dollars.  Legal aid lawyers say mortgage servicers are more responsive when they’re dealing with a lawyer on the other end of the phone, or at the courthouse.
(Copyright WBGZ / )