Chicago foreclosure assistance programs.

Homeowners in Chicago have several free programs available to them that are targeted at providing foreclosure prevention counseling and related assistance. The primary option is known as the Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI). It was created from a partnership between Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, local non-profits, the City of Chicago, banks such as JP Morgan, and key lending, investment, government agencies and mortgage servicing institutions.

The initiative has a goal of preventing and stopping as many foreclosures as possible across Chicago. The initiative will try to keep families in their homes through mediation, free foreclosure counseling, loss mitigation, legal advice and loan workouts. Counselors that are part of the program can even negotiate, for free, directly with your lender to find a solution that works for all parties involved.

Unfortunately in some cases the borrower is just to far behind on their mortgage, or their financial condition has deteriorated so much that a foreclosure is unavoidable. In these instances the partners and members of the organization will seek to preserve the vacant properties as neighborhood assets and help the borrower get resettled into a new home.

Assistance from the Chicago Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI)

When you apply to the program the homeowners will be put into contact with an accredited housing counselor from a local Chicago Illinois based not-for-profit organization. The free foreclosure counseling session will initially take place over the phone. All communication between the borrower and the counselor will always be fully confidential. The interview process is thorough, as the objective is to gather enough information about your situation that will allow a solution to be arrived at.

The mortgage counselor will gather both personal and financial information from you about your current income, financial obligations, expenses and the counselor will both discuss and work with you through your options for avoiding foreclosure. There is much more than just advice and information provided. For example, if appropriate, the housing counselor will also help you contact your mortgage lender or bank, provide mediation and negotiate a repayment plan between you and your bank or lender.





Specifically, some of the services offered by the counseling agency will include the following.

  • The counselor will get information and details on the borrowers financial situation, and they will provide the homeowner with an in-depth assessment of the homeowner's financial situation, a budget and an individual action plan to help them get back on  track.
  • Counselors that are part of the Chicago Home Ownership Preservation Initiative will also serve as a liaison between the mortgage company, the bank, and the homeowner where appropriate. In this role the counselor will advocate on the borrowers behalf for a mortgage repayment plan, loan modification, principal or other loss mitigation strategy that will help the homeowner either prevent or avoid a foreclosure.
  • In addition to the counselor offering advice and assistance, they can also provide referrals to government programs, local resources, and Illinois state assistance where appropriate. They can refer people to job training programs, tax assistance, emergency financial grants, and foreclosure prevention classes from other non-profits.
  • While not as common, there may also be low interest loans or emergency funds available to help Chicago families pay their mortgage.

To learn more about how to get free foreclosure assistance from the Chicago Illinois Home Ownership Preservation Initiative, call an Illinois HUD approved agency and refer to the program.




By Jon McNamara

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