Bar Encouraged by State’s Action in Foreclosure
The American Bar Association commends the recent developments designed to assist hard-hit neighborhoods and families in the foreclosure crisis. The 2009 Homeowner Protection Act (SB-2513) and the new statewide Mortgage Relief Project will assist homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes in battered south side communities.
The effects of foreclosure have been devastating for individuals, neighborhood blocks and whole communities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in minority communities, particularly among African Americans and Hispanics. A 2009 Woodstock Institute study concluded that, “African American and Latino borrowers and communities have long been subject to disproportionately high shares of subprime lending when compared to white borrowers and communities.”
The legal profession through local bars and legal aid clinics has been working steadily to assist homeowners at risk through these tough economic times. The ABA Web site at www.FindLegalHelp.org, helps those who wish to set up an initial consultation to locate lawyer referral programs, including sources of free legal help. In addition, the Chicago Bar Association provides a wealth of information in their Mortgage Foreclosure: “What to Do When It Happens and Where to Get Help” brochure. Illinois Legal Aid Online also provides a portal to information, including the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law in layman’s terms and links to find legal help.
We are encouraged that the state has put legislation and a solid education/remediation program into place. Lawyers in Illinois and throughout the country stand ready to assist people in all neighborhoods retain their homes and withstand this assault on their financial security.
– H. Thomas Wells, Jr., Chicago
American Bar Association, President
Published in the Chicago Tribune.