Illinois adds to mortgage assistance

Illinois is utilizing more federal funds to keep unemployed and underemployed residents in their homes. Approximately 15,000 homeowners in the state are under the threat of foreclosure due to employment conditions and the Governor is using $345 million in federal funds to help them cover their mortgage payments. The program gives 10-year low cost loans to homeowners who need help covering their housing costs while they look for employment.

Homeowners facing foreclosure can apply for up to $25,000 over 18 months as a 10-year loan to keep their mortgages current and make ongoing payments. The loan is forgiven over the last five years of the 10-year term, and carries zero interest. The program, called Illinois Hardest Hit, will be administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). Illinois is one of 18 states with similar programs that are seeking to mitigate the continuing national mortgage crisis.

Individuals can apply to the program for free and will be matched with a local review agency that will answer questions, pre-screen applicants for eligibility and assist homeowners in preparing the application and assembling the required supporting documentation. To be eligible for the program individuals will have to show at least a 25% reduction in income through no fault of their own and they must be living in a house worth under $500,000.

“The best way to stabilize our neighborhoods is to prevent foreclosures before they happen,” said Mary Kenney, IHDA executive director. “This program will make a difference in people’s lives and in our communities.”

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