Protection for Illinois homeowners facing foreclosure extended

Illinois Governor Quinn signed legislation championed by State Senator Jacqueline Collins to postpone the repeal of legal protections for homeowners seeking counseling to avoid foreclosure.

Set to expire this year, the “30-30-30″ grace prior law would remain on the books for another three years if Collins’ legislation is successful.

“Foreclosure prevention counseling has helped thousands of Illinois homeowners stay in their homes,” Collins said. “Because in many parts of our state the housing market is still in crisis, we must continue to give homeowners who have missed payments the breathing room they need to seek professional assistance.”

More than 48,000 homeowners have received free counseling via the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network since 2009. The Illinois Hardest Hit program has helped more than 6,500 people make their mortgage payments.

“Foreclosure counseling is a proven tool in the effort to stabilize neighborhoods and give homeowners a chance to make it through tough times,” Collins said. “Approved counselors can help homeowners evaluate their finances, take control of their spending, negotiate with their lenders and ultimately start making manageable payments and keep their homes.”

Under “30-30-30″ law, lenders are required to wait 30 days after the due date of a missed payment, send a notice to the borrower, give the homeowner 30 more days to seek counseling and then give the homeowner and counselor 30 days to offer the lender a workout plan.

The bank can file for foreclosure only if the homeowner does not obtain counseling services within 30 days of the initial notice, if the homeowner and counselor do not present an acceptable plan within 30 days or if the borrower fails to comply with the terms of the workout plan.