Attorney General Lisa Madigan Thursday that nearly $1.4 million in funding from the national foreclosure settlement has been awarded to Chicago’s Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. Madigan said the grant will help provide much-needed legal representation and advocacy services for Illinois renters living in buildings on the verge of foreclosure.
According to a report from the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing, about 1 out of every 10 rental units in Chicago has been impacted by foreclosure. Last year alone, 4,477 apartment buildings were foreclosed on, including 13,814 rental units, which is about 5,000 more units than single-family and condominiums that were foreclosed on during the same time period. “When an apartment building enters foreclosure, its tenants are often thrown into a kind of legal limbo, where their rights are either ignored or overtly violated,” Madigan said. “Having a legal advocate on their side will help ensure that tenants know their rights and have their rights enforced.”
The Attorney General made the announcement in advance of her keynote speech at the 2012 Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony in Chicago. The funding stems from her role in securing a $25 billion national settlement in February with the nation’s five largest bank mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. The settlement addressed allegations of widespread “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices bank servicers engaged in while servicing loans of struggling homeowners.
Consumers seeking more information on the national settlement can contact the AG's Homeowner’s Helpline at (866) 544-7151, or visit her website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/bankforeclosuresettlement.html. Borrowers also can visit www.NationalForeclosureSettlement.com.