Measure expedites foreclosures of abandoned property,

funds counseling and neighborhood revitalization

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) secured unanimous passage today of legislation allowing fast-tracked foreclosure proceedings for abandoned properties and raising additional funds for foreclosure counseling and property rehabilitation. The proposal is designed to boost a housing market oversaturated with foreclosures, offer free foreclosure counseling to 18,000 households and raise an additional $28 million to clean up vacant homes and lots.

Senate Bill 16 is endorsed by Governor Quinn, Attorney General Madigan, the Illinois Bankers Association, community banks and credit unions, housing and community advocates, Cook County and the City of Chicago.

"What these parties had in common was a desire to break up the logjam of foreclosures currently clogging our court system and delaying the full recovery of our housing market," Sen. Collins said. "With strong homeowner protections in place, everyone benefits from expedited foreclosures of truly abandoned properties."

SB 16 will shorten the foreclosure process from more than 500 days on average to approximately 100 days when a court finds that the property in question has been abandoned. However, the legislation defines abandoned property so banks cannot use the expedited process to force out lawful occupants. The state will exercise oversight to ensure financial institutions are not abusing the new option.120512br0131r

The banks that file the most foreclosure proceedings (more than 175 in the previous year) will pay a $500 additional fee when they file a foreclosure action; the proceeds will go to the Foreclosure Prevention Program Fund (for homeowner counseling grants) and the Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Fund. This fund will award grants to counties and municipalities to maintain, renovate or demolish abandoned properties, which contribute to blight, crime and falling home values. Lenders that have filed between 50 and 174 foreclosure complaints in the past year will pay an extra $250, and those with fewer than 50 filings will pay only $50 more. The increased fees will remain in effect through January 1, 2018.

"For years I've worked toward a vision of communities emerging revitalized from this housing crisis," Sen. Collins said. "Today we take another step benefitting the long-term health of the housing market and thus individuals, families, communities and financial institutions alike."

SB 16 passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support and now proceeds to the governor's desk.

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Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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