Free Foreclosure Counseling Offered to Homeowners Free Foreclosure Counseling Offered to Homeowners Free Foreclosure Counseling Offered to Homeowners

Article excerpt

The Illinois Housing Development Authority board of directors approved allocating a $1.4 million federal grant to fund free foreclosure counseling help for homeowners throughout Illinois.

The grant, provided through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, will pay for 5,000 mortgage delinquency and foreclosure prevention counseling sessions across Illinois. As a result of the money available through the state, 39 partner agencies will be able to provide free counseling u a critical resource during these tough economic times. After a competitive application process, IHDA emerged with the third-largest grant award of 35 state housing finance agencies that bid for the opportunity to broaden help for homeowners in their communities.

"Financial counseling is the most effective first step struggling homeowners can take to save their homes," said Gloria L. Materre, IHDA executive director.

The Homeowner Protection Act gives homeowners facing foreclosure an extra 90 days to work out a solution if they enter counseling, she said.

Homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payment or have entered the foreclosure process should seek counseling immediately. Counselors can inform homeowners of programs they may qualify for (i.e., President ObamaAEs Making Home Affordable program); present options to homeowners; work as a liaison between the homeowner and their lender; and educate homeowners in the complex foreclosure process. Homeowners who qualify for a loan modification under the federal Making Home Affordable program can see their mortgage payments reduced to as low as 31 percent of gross monthly income, possibly saving hundreds of dollars a month.

To seek counseling, go to www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org to search for a counseling agency by ZIP code.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority board of directors approved allocating a $1.4 million federal grant to fund free foreclosure counseling help for homeowners throughout Illinois.

The grant, provided through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, will pay for 5,000 mortgage delinquency and foreclosure prevention counseling sessions across Illinois. As a result of the money available through the state, 39 partner agencies will be able to provide free counseling u a critical resource during these tough economic times. After a competitive application process, IHDA emerged with the third-largest grant award of 35 state housing finance agencies that bid for the opportunity to broaden help for homeowners in their communities.

"Financial counseling is the most effective first step struggling homeowners can take to save their homes," said Gloria L. Materre, IHDA executive director. …