Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced that $20 million of the funds Illinois will receive from the foreclosure fraud settlement will be used to fund legal assistance programs in Illinois.
AG Madigan stated:
"We need to give homeowners a fighting chance to save their homes from foreclosure. The best way we can help is by providing distressed borrowers with legal representation to ensure they have an advocate to fight for them in the courtroom and that they will be treated fairly in the process."
She also noted that the housing market is a significant sector of the economy that has shown limited signs of improvement:
"Providing critical resources for legal assistance programs will create a domino effect in the marketplace. Helping a family stay in their home benefits not just that family but the surrounding community, as well as local and state governments, all of which must happen to stabilize the housing market and revitalize the economy."
Although the Attorney General's office has not announced which legal assistance programs would receive the funding, it is certainly sorely needed, in particular for those home owners who cannot afford to hire an attorney. Legal aid programs have limited funding and can only help a finite number of people at one time.
This influx of new funding should enable those organizations to provide service to more home owners, hopefully levelling the playing field for Illinois residents who are facing foreclosure.