Illinois spending millions to help homeowners with mortgage payments as foreclosures spike

(The Center Square) – As foreclosures rise in Illinois, the state is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to help homeowners pay their monthly mortgages.

About eght months after a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures expired, foreclosure filings are soaring this year. According to the U.S. Foreclosure Market report, there were more than 78,000 foreclosure filings during the first quarter of this year, up 39% from the previous quarter and up 132% from a year ago. 

Illinois was fourth in the country in foreclosure starts with 3,534, and Chicago led all large metro areas in the country, outdistancing New York and Los Angeles. 

Among 223 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter included Rockford with one in every 634 housing units.

Nationally, lenders repossessed 11,824 properties through foreclosure in the first quarter of 2022, up 41% from the previous quarter and up 160% from a year ago. 

The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund will provide $309 million in taxpayer funds to cover housing costs including past due mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance and delinquent condo association fees.

To qualify, homeowners must have experienced a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on or after Jan. 21, 2020. They must also currently own and occupy their Illinois home as their primary residence, be at least 30 days behind on housing expenses, and have a household income at or below 150% of the Area Median Income.

“We know that people are still struggling,” said Kristen Faust, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development. “We still have homeowners who need assistance who are behind on their mortgage payments, who maybe are making payments now but are still behind from last year.” 

State officials said more than 4,000 homeowners seeking assistance have already applied.

Region: Northern,Region: Kankakee,News

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May 3, 2022 at 04:15PM

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