CHICAGO – March 30, 2012. As part of his commitment to affordable housing and foreclosure prevention, Governor Pat Quinn today encouraged Illinois families facing foreclosure to attend the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network’s first “Keep Your Home, Illinois” workshop. Held Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Berwyn, the workshop will connect struggling homeowners with in-person assistance, resources and knowledge to help them keep their homes.
“Helping families stay in their homes is essential in keeping our communities strong and our economic recovery moving forward,” Governor Quinn said. “The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network is a one-stop-shop that connects families facing foreclosure with the most up-to-date information and free housing counseling to help them navigate their options.”
Announced in the Governor’s State of the State address, the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) is a multi-agency effort coordinated by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). The statewide program gathers all resources available to homeowners to ensure that families facing foreclosure can access the assistance they need in one stop. The IFPN provides access to counseling services, legal advice, mortgage payment assistance programs, foreclosure preven¬tion events and tips on how to avoid mortgage fraud.
The Berwyn event is the first of six regional, IFPN “Keep Your Home, Illinois” foreclosure prevention workshops around the state. The IFPN’s resources are also available 24-hours a day online at KeepYourHomeIllinois.org, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the IFPN’s free hotline 1-855-KEEP-411 (1-855-533-7411).
Foreclosures adversely impact too many Illinois families and communities. Illinois is consistently ranked among the top 10 states with the highest number of foreclosures. In 2011, 103,003 homes in Illinois received a foreclosure filing, or one in every 51 homes – ranking the state eighth in the country, according to RealtyTrac.
The Chicago area has the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes. According to RealtyTrac’s inventory records, as of December 2011, there were 96,996 properties that were bank-owned or in some stage of foreclosure in the Chicago metro area.
“You just don’t know until it hits you what a disaster your life can become when you can’t pay your bills,” local homeowner Regina Bailey, who was recently approved for temporary financial assistance through the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, said. “You go through program after program, but you never know about most of them unless someone tells you. Then all of a sudden you feel okay because you have hope. That’s what the Governor’s Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network has done for me.”
Working with a housing counselor doubles a homeowner’s chances of getting a loan modification and, once their loan is modified, foreclosure counseling reduces their chances of re-default by 67 percent.
“There are many benefits to working with an IFPN housing counselor,” said Mary Kenney, executive director of the IHDA. “Our counselors have access to numerous state and federal programs, and can direct homeowners toward the best program to suit their individual situations. The entire purpose of the network is to collect resources in one place, helping struggling homeowners save valuable time and resources as they work to keep their homes.”
“We are proud to be one of the 68 counseling agencies providing services under the network,” Ofelia Navarro, executive director of the Spanish Coalition for Housing, said. “Governor Quinn understands that homeowners have difficulty understanding and keeping up with which foreclosure prevention programs are available to them. Now more than ever, as the number of programs increase, homeowners need guidance to choose the best option for them.”
Under Governor Quinn, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) partnered to establish this free, one-stop collaboration of state agencies and nonprofit organizations to help Illinois residents access resources so that they can remain in their homes.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (www.ihda.org) is an independent, self-supporting bonding authority that finances the creation and preservation of affordable housing throughout Illinois. Since 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $10.6 billion to finance more than 215,000 affordable housing units for the residents of Illinois. IHDA sells bonds independently, based on its own good credit, to finance affordable housing in Illinois.