In 2002, Regina’s son Armand died of leukemia. Five years ago, her husband passed away, leaving her with the responsibility for supporting herself and her family, plus paying the mortgage, insurance, and taxes on her home.
A friend referred Regina to Spanish Coalition for Housing, an independent HUD-certified housing counseling agency that works with lenders and is knowledgeable of federal and state programs for mortgage modification and foreclosure prevention. Her Case Manager, Itzel Alcaraz, got her approved for loan modification by folding her taxes and insurance into her mortgage. This reduced her monthly payments.
But, in October 2010, when Regina was laid off from her job as a Lab Technician at Elmhurst Hospital, she couldn’t keep up with even these lower payments. Then, Governor Quinn announced creation of the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund administered by the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network. This program is designed specifically for people like Regina so they won’t lose their homes to foreclosure while they struggle to get back on their feet financially. The program is made possible through a $445.6 million injection of TARP funds to the state, specifically intended to keep people in their homes. Requirements for homeowners to participate include that they are two to three months behind in their mortgage payments and have lost at least 31% of their income.
For information on qualifying for assistance through the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network, call the free Hotline at 1-855-446-6300.