Illinois Gov Quinn Signs Law to Save Foreclosure Properties

by on Foreclosures

Distressed homeowners in Illinois have reason to feel some level of relief after Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn signed into law a legislative initiative that would mitigate the rising number of foreclosure properties across the state.

The legislation, coded Senate Bill 2513, would give defaulting mortgage borrowers 90 days to seek HUD-certified foreclosure prevention counseling and negotiate a loan modification with their lenders before they are given a foreclosure notice if the mitigation processes fail.

Among officials pleased by the signing of the legislation into law is Clerk of Cook County Circuit Court Dorothy Brown, who had been notifying state officials about the rapidly rising number of foreclosure properties in Cook County. Brown said she sent a letter to Governor Quinn in March urging the governor to sign the legislation.

Based on data from cases of foreclosure properties filed in Cook County’s Chancery Division of the Circuit Court, the average number of foreclosure cases filed daily during the days following President Obama’s inauguration increased from 161 filings to 239 filings, representing a 50 percent rise. This figure further increased by 16 percent to 277 daily filings after President Obama launched his foreclosure prevention program in February. Compared to foreclosure data before Obama’s inauguration, the average foreclosure filings per day in Cook County increased by 72 percent.

Brown argued that the continued rise in number of foreclosure properties indicate that some mortgage banks in Illinois have not been using part of their bailout funds to modify loans. Brown reiterated the need for state governments to intervene and prevent families from being evicted from foreclosure properties.

In 2008, Cook County had a record breaking 43,726 foreclosure filings in court, representing a 338 percent increase compared to 1998 figures. In February and March, 4,672 foreclosures and 4,913 foreclosures were filed, respectively. These big numbers pushed total Illinois foreclosures to high levels, putting Illinois among the ten U.S. states with the highest foreclosure rates.

In addition to calling for foreclosure prevention legislation measures, Clerk Brown has also organized another Mortgage Foreclosure Education Summit to be held in April in Matteson. She will be working with Matteson village officials, church leaders, local officials and volunteer lawyers to provide advice to seniors and other homeowners on how they can prevent their houses from becoming foreclosure properties.