Illinois Hardest Hit Fund Combats Foreclosure

by Chicago Agent

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has enacted a new mortgage assistance program, called the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund, for unemployed and underemployed Illinois and Chicago homeowners.

The fund will allow roughly 15,000 Illinois residents, whose incomes have fallen by at least 25 percent and are at risk of losing their homes, to receive a maximum of $25,000 in mortgage aid.

Eligibility criteria for the Hardest Hit Fund consist of several requirements, including: a homeowner’s annual household income must be at or below 120 percent of the area median income, homeowners can owe no more than $500,000 on their mortgages, and mortgages must have a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loan.

The purpose of the loan is to bring homeowners current on their delinquent mortgages and to keep them current for up to 18 months. It gets better – homeowners that meet all the program’s criteria don’t have to pay the loans back.

Loan recipients must make monthly payments that square out to 31 percent of their gross income, including jobless benefits, unless the situation is extremely dire in which case the IHDA will cover all mortgage costs. Otherwise the IHDA will assist mortgage payments for up to 18 months at 100 percent until the maximum of $25,000 is reached.

This comes as a relief to many homeowners troubled by the Illinois unemployment rate, which jumped from 9.5 to 9.9 percent between July and August.

“The economic downturn has left too many Illinois families at risk of losing their homes,” said Governor Quinn. “Everyone suffers when a home goes into foreclosure. The Illinois Hardest Hit program will help keep families in their homes, help them regain stability and keep our communities strong.”

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