When homeowners face foreclosure, their rights and responsibilities in the foreclosure process are often unclear or confusing. Resources like housing counselors and legal assistance help guide homeowners through the process and take advantage of every opportunity to save their homes. Additionally, there are a number of state and federal programs, such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program and the Hardest Hit Fund, that can make mortgage payments more affordable or provide assistance to unemployed homeowners. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of these resources. The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network can help troubled homeowners take full advantage of our state’s support system and hopefully save their homes.
Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit was recently increased from the current rate of 5 percent of the federal EITC to 10 percent by 2013, doubling the amount of money low-income workers can use to save for emergencies, make repairs to their homes, and pay for education. More than 1 million Illinoisans file for EITC and currently receive an estimated average of $110. This figure will increase to $220 by 2013, putting an extra $114 million into the pockets of Illinois workers who are barely getting by.
Governor Quinn also stressed the importance of making public data open and accessible, and committed to making Illinois’ public data infrastructure the best in the nation. Quinn’s administration has already overseen the launch of a new data portal, data.illinois.gov. We applaud the Governor’s commitment to expand this valuable resource to create better, more targeted public services; create new entrepreneurship opportunities; and improve government transparency and accountability.
“Homeowners and working families face significant hurdles to economic security in the face of foreclosures, high unemployment, and neighborhood instability,” says Dory Rand, President of Woodstock Institute. “Governor Quinn’s welcome measures will make it easier for homeowners facing foreclosure to save their homes, boost low-income workers’ assets, and ensure that public data can be used to serve the public interest.”