Foreclosure Prevention Programs

 

Financial counseling and education is an excellent option if you are seeking to rebuild credit, manage debt, and establish savings. Housing counselors are well trained to provide you with the financial tools needed to maintain financial and housing stability. At IHDA, we are focused on foreclosure prevention, and have free counseling services available to you to make sure you make the best decisions for your household before, during, and after a home purchase.

We understand that when homeowners struggle financially, communities suffer. If you know members of your community who are having a hard time paying their mortgage, please encourage them to visit the housing counseling section of our website. There is help available. All services are free.

Through a variety of grant programs, we fund a network of housing counseling agencies to provide foreclosure prevention counseling, as well a financial coaching and pre-purchase counseling.  Information and materials for each program can be found below.  If you are a housing counseling agency and currently not on our list serve, please send an e-mail to us to be notified when these programs solicit applications for funding (program e-mail addresses are under each respective program tab).

 

The Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is no longer available as of December 1, 2017. If you need housing counseling or mortgage foreclosure assistance, contact a housing counselor to help you understand what options are available to you. For legal aid resources for homeowners in Cook County click here.

Under the Foreclosure Prevention Program Fund (FPP), IHDA provides grants to community based organizations and housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for capacity building, operational expenses, pre and post purchase counseling, financial literacy counseling, foreclosure counseling and education, and staff/counselor training. See program rules for further details.

IHDA does not directly fund homeowners. If you are a homeowner looking for foreclosure prevention assistance, contact a housing counselor to help you understand what options are available to you.

For more information, contact our Community Affairs Department at fppinfo@ihda.org

Under the Foreclosure Prevention Program Graduated Fund, IHDA provides grants to housing counseling agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for capacity building, operational expenses, pre and post purchase counseling, financial literacy counseling, foreclosure counseling and education, and staff/counselor training. See program rules for further details.

IHDA does not directly fund homeowners. If you are a homeowner looking for foreclosure prevention assistance, contact a housing counselor to help you understand what options are available to you.

The last day to apply for the Illinois Hardest Hit Program and the Reverse Mortgage Assistance Program was Tuesday, April 30th. (Please note that applying prior to April 30th does not guarantee funding.)

These programs are now closed for new applications. Thousands of struggling homeowners across Illinois avoided foreclosure. If you have an existing application, please visit illinoishardesthit.org to log in and access your account.

Housing counselors can help you understand your options if you are having trouble paying your mortgage. They can communicate with your mortgage lender or servicer on your behalf and help you find legal representation if necessary. Counselors can also help you create a budget to manage your expenses and possibly stay in your home.

All services are free.

Find a counselor near you today and begin to get the help you need.

You should be aware that foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams exist. Scammers make promises they cannot keep, such as guarantees to save your home or lower your mortgage, for a fee. Scammers also may pretend they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer when they do not. One of the easiest ways to determine if someone is trying to scam you is if they ask you for money.

You should never have to pay for foreclosure assistance.

Tips to Avoid Scams:

  • Beware of anyone who asks for a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.
  • Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately, or who try to convince you they can save your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
  • Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
  • Never make a mortgage payment to anyone without your mortgage company’s approval.
  • Watch the Foreclosure Rescue Scams Video on the FTC ‘s YouTube Channel.
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provides tips and materials to help homeowners avoid mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue scams.
  • The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network is a national coalition of governmental and private organizations created by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NeighborWorks America™ and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to provide resources to educate homeowners about the dangers of loan modification scams and support federal, state and local efforts to combat these scams. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you can report the scam through the campaign’s online complaint form.
  • The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force maintains a wide list of resources and information to help find and report suspected cases of financial fraud.
  • If you live in Cook County, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds has created a free property fraud alert that will notify you any time a document is recorded against your property’s Parcel Identification Number (PIN).

What to Do if You Have Been the Victim of a Scam:

If you suspect mortgage fraud or want to learn about tips to avoid fraud, contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) or call 1-800-532-8785.

If you are facing foreclosure, it is important to know your rights. Remember: you should never have to pay for foreclosure assistance.

The following non-profit organizations offer free legal advice to low-income persons and all seniors:

Utility Assistance

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, consider the following:

The ComEd CARE programs offer a range of financial assistance programs to help qualified ComEd customers pay their electric bills.

ComEd’s smart meters program. Smart meters are digital electric meters that collect energy-usage information and securely send it to ComEd. In addition to eliminating estimated bills, smart meters give customers access to more information about their electricity usage.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low income households pay for winter energy service.

MeterSave is a program offered by the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management (DWM) to non-metered Chicago homeowners to voluntarily install meters to help them save water and lower their water bill.

Warm Neighbors, Cool Friends – a collaborative program between Ameren Illinois and the Energy Assistance Foundation that provides moderate income customers and senior citizens with low-cost home weatherization options.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is a non-profit organization focused entirely on cutting your utility bills. CUB provides guidance to help slash phone, electric and gas bills and assists customers who have complaints against their utility company.

Rental Assistance

If you’re looking for an affordable home to rent, ILHousingSearch.org is a fast, easy-to-use search tool that lets you look for rental housing using a wide variety of criteria and special mapping features. You’ll find color photos and detailed information about each unit. The service also provides links to housing resources and helpful tools such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist and information about renter rights and responsibilities.

Disaster Assistance

Anyone who sustained losses or damage from the severe storms and tornadoes on November 17, 2013 should register for disaster aid. Residents can apply for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on their toll-free number (1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired) and online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

More information on disaster recovery resources is also available at ready.illinois.gov.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses with housing assistance that can help you retain, repair or adapt your home.

The Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, also called the Streamline Refinance Loan, can help you obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing your existing VA loan.

Additional support is available to help veterans modify their existing home to account for a disability, apply for property tax reductions and access mortgage delinquency assistance for both VA and non-VA loans.

If you need to find employment or apply for unemployment support, visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) website. IDES is the state agency that pays unemployment benefits and administers the employment service and Illinois Job Bank to connect Illinoisans to jobs throughout the state.

Additional support for Illinois residents looking for work is available through the American Job Center (AJC) website. AJC provides access to federal and local resources that help people find a job, identify training programs, gain skills in growing industries and apply for financial assistance.

You should attend a foreclosure prevention workshop if you are struggling to pay your mortgage or if you are facing a foreclosure. Approved housing counseling agencies regularly host these workshops as a way to provide a variety of services at one time. Such services usually include information on foreclosure prevention programs, housing counseling, legal assistance and debt management.

Attend a foreclosure prevention workshop to learn how to save your home.