20,000 Illinois homeowners aided by foreclosure settlement: compliance report

A national foreclosure settlement has provided 20,044 Illinois consumers with more than $1.4 billion in relief through principal reductions, refinancing for underwater loans and other assistance, according to an independent compliance monitor’s report released Thursday.

The report showed Illinois residents are among consumers nationwide benefiting from the national settlement with five of the nation’s top mortgage lenders and servicers that addressed allegations of so-called robo-signing and other fraudulent practices that occurred during the servicing of loans of homeowners that faced foreclosure.

Nearly half of Illinois consumers received principal reductions or had debts extinguished, the report revealed. Some 5,928 borrowers had their second lien obligations extinguished, and 2,386 received first line principal reductions. Among the latter group, the reductions averaged nearly $115,000, noted Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who called the report encouraging.

“When the national settlement was announced, Illinois borrowers were projected to receive approximately $1 billion in direct relief,” Madigan said in a released statement. “Now, not even a year into the implementation of the settlement, assistance for Illinois borrowers has already surpassed that initial estimate. Thousands of families throughout Illinois have received the lifeline they so desperately needed.”

The banks involved in the settlement, which was reached last year, include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial. The report covers the period March 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2012.

In addition to direct relief for Illinois borrowers, the Illinois Attorney General’s office said it has recovered money from the banks for legal aid services, housing counseling, outreach to borrowers, housing policy development and community revitalization.

Nationally, the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight said the banks have completed $42.34 billion in consumer relief and have an additional $3.49 billion in active trial modifications.

For distressed homeowners in Illinois, help is available through these organizations, the Attorney General’s Office noted:

♦Chicago residents —Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

312 341-1070


♦Northern and western Illinois residents — Prairie State Legal Services

815 965-2134