Just two weeks ago, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed into law new foreclosure legislation speeding up the process to get empty homes sold. That takes effect in June. But, state Supreme Court justices want to put the brakes on residents losing their property in the first place.
Justices are implementing new rules making the foreclosure process much more thorough for lenders.
"They won't unjustly or unfairly put somebody out of their home that they'll exhaust all possibilities through some of these government programs." -says Dickerson & Neiman Realtors President Frank Wehrstein.
These programs are designed to help borrowers.
"This will help homeowners to have more tools for the redemption to make their loans right in the end rather than being foreclosed upon, there is also pre-foreclosure counseling that will be part of these programs and some additional requirements to make sure that pre-sale notices are sent to the homeowners before the foreclosure happens." -says Riverside Community Bank Vice President Kelly Eickstead.
Wehrstein says foreclosures are a problem in Rockford. There are roughly 2,000 homes on the market right now.
"Of those 2,000, probably 1,000 are short sale or foreclosure."
That doesn't reflect national numbers. In January, 23% of all home sales were either foreclosures or short sales. That's a decrease from 24% in December and 35% last January.
In Illinois, foreclosing a home takes around two years to complete. That can hurt neighborhood property values.
"It's an empty house, people recognize it sometimes the bank that owns it doesn't mow the grass, deferred maintenance." -Wehrstein adds.
Even if these new rules don't slow down kicking families out of their homes, both parties can benefit.
"It is to streamline the foreclosure process for both the borrower and the lender, to make the process go much smoother from beginning to end. To make sure that borrowers understand the process, that they have the right counseling tools available, that lenders have communicated directly with the borrower." -Eickstead explains.
These new procedures begin almost immediately, they take effect March 1st.
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