SPRINGFIELD – The Homeowner Protection Act, Senate Bill 1998, first announced by Governor Blagojevich last month and sponsored by Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), cleared its first legislative obstacle earlier today when it was approved by the Senate Licensed Activities Committee. The committee vote of 5 – 3 demonstrates widespread support for ensuring homeowners struggling with mortgage payments have up to 60 days to seek help if they fall behind on their payments. The measure now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
“I’m pleased the Committee moved quickly to pass this important bill. Too many Illinois families are facing financial difficulties, and this bill will give them important breathing room to find a solution to their mortgage problems before their homes could be lost to foreclosure. I hope the full Senate will take the matter up soon,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
The legislation is part of a comprehensive Homeowners Assistance Initiative, launched by the Governor in February, and will provide homeowners struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments an early warning of trouble and additional time to fix their financial problems.
The Governor’s Homeowner Assistance Initiative also:
- Provides access to a new $310 million Homeowner Assistance Pool to help families refinance existing mortgages and get into more affordable, stable loans;
- Establishes a statewide counseling network to help people(or borrowers) understand their options and negotiate with their lenders;
- Provides consumers protection by making it easier for homeowners to report fraudulent and deceptive practices that result in unwarranted financial strain and foreclosures;
- Urges all Illinois lenders to become part of the solution by: joining in the national “Project Lifeline” initiative and agree to contact their borrowers who are at up to 90 days behind on mortgage payments, but not yet scheduled for foreclosure and offering to work with them to negotiate new loans that keep them in their homes; participate in the new Homeowner Assistance Pool; and participate in Homeowner Outreach Days.