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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2007

Blagojevich Administration officials launch Homeowner Outreach Days
Illinois foreclosure rates up 16% since 2006; events will help hundreds of Illinois homeowners facing foreclosure avoid losing their homes

CHICAGO On behalf of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director DeShana L. Forney and Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Secretary Dean Martinez today launched the first of six Homeowner Outreach Days to help Illinois residents avoid losing their homes through foreclosure and also to stabilize neighborhoods.  Recent surveys show foreclosure filings are up 16 percent in Illinois since 2006 and 18 percent in Chicago. The events will provide one-on-one counseling sessions between borrowers and lenders, as well as workshops on refinancing, foreclosure prevention, legal rights, loss mitigation and credit counseling. 
 
The increase in foreclosures is taking a toll on hard working families, neighborhoods and local economies throughout the state,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “This statewide outreach effort will help families by providing them the information and counseling necessary to protect their properties and keep the American Dream of homeownership.”
 
IHDA and IDFPR are co-sponsoring the outreach days being held across the state over the next two months, with more events tentatively scheduled for early 2008.  For more information about Illinois’ Borrower Outreach Days, visit www.illinois.gov.
 
Each event will consist of four 30-minute workshops that will repeat throughout the day. The workshops will cover: the alternatives to foreclosure and how the mortgage lending system works; the foreclosure process and court procedure; what to expect in the workout process, including how a loan is analyzed and what is a realistic outcome; and what homeowners should be careful of, including a closer look at so-called “rescue” schemes and some of the drawbacks of refinancing.  The State will also offer homeowners one-on-one counseling with lenders and loan servicers, and additional materials and advice from credit counselors and attorneys.
 
The Homeowner Outreach Days details are:
 
Chicago-West Side
Thursday, Nov. 15 (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
West Side Technical Institute
2800 South Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
 
Champaign
Saturday, Nov. 17 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Avenue
Champaign, IL
Rockford
Thursday, Nov. 29 (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
Rock Valley College
3301 North Mulford Road
Rockford, IL
 
Chicago-Southside
Tuesday, Dec. 4 (3 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
Kennedy-King College
6301 South Halsted
Chicago, IL
 
Chicago – North Side
Saturday, Dec. 8 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Wright College
4300 North Narragansett
Chicago, IL 60634
 
East St. Louis
Saturday, Dec. 15 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Jackie Joyner-Kersey Youth Center
101 Jackie Joyner-Kersey Circle
East St. Louis, IL 62204
 
 
“Through this series of statewide Homeowner Outreach Days, Governor Blagojevich is leading the way in helping people avoid losing their homes through foreclosure,” said Executive Director Forney. “The Outreach Days have been organized to target areas in Illinois where there is a known high foreclosure rate.  Our strategy is to go directly into the communities and get help to the homeowners that need it the most.”
 
“The problems facing homeowners are not unique to our state. However, the solutions that will help Illinois families stay in their homes must include better education about the mortgage process, and the options available to families in financial trouble.  These workshops should improve the odds that families in our state can stay in their homes,” said Secretary Martinez.
 
Several lenders and banks including Citi, Elite Mortgage Solutions Team, Fifth Third Bank, Harris Bank and Wells Fargo Financial will participate in the outreach days.
 
The current foreclosure crisis is expected to continue through the next two years as many of the loans originated in recent years put homeowners in unaffordable positions, as adjustable rate mortgage products continue to reset, and as the consequences of loans made with little or no supporting documentation become evident.
 
According to RealtyTrac®, the online marketplace for foreclosure properties, in the first nine months of 2007, statewide foreclosure filings reached 63,006, an increase of 16 percent from 2006. Of that total, Chicago had approximately 51,132 foreclosure filings, an increase of 18 percent from 2006.  RealtyTrac® ranks Illinois among one of the top 10 states with the highest number of foreclosure filings. Other high foreclosure filing states include Nevada, California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Texas and Indiana.


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