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Freeport Gets $2.5M of $70M 'Robo-signing' Settlement

journalstandard.comJuly 26, 2013

FREEPORT — A nonprofit housing counseling agency will receive $2.5 million to redevelop neighborhoods in Freeport, Rockford and Belvidere and help those hit hardest by the national foreclosure crisis.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is distributing $70 million to help Illinois communities recover from the housing crisis.

The money represents Illinois’ share of a $25 billion national settlement with the country’s five largest bank mortgage servicers.

The banks were accused of fraudulent practices during foreclosure proceedings including “robo-signing.” That means having employees sign papers they haven’t read or using fake signatures to speed foreclosures.
Freeport-based Homestart, which has an office in Rockford, will receive $2.5 million of the settlement. The agency was established this year by the merger of Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition and Neighborhood Housing Services of Freeport.

It is a massive investment for the organization. The Rockford coalition had $397,464 in revenue in fiscal 2012, according to IRS documents, while Neighborhood Housing Services had $149,118 in revenue in 2011, the most recent IRS records available.

Homestart and its partners — which include the city of Rockford, the Winnebago County Health Department, Rockford Housing Authority — are collaborating to redevelop properties in three neighborhoods. The money will also support a new Home Resource Center, providing a central location for counseling, financial literacy and other housing-related education for homeowners in a 10-county area.

In addition, Homestart and its partners support housing counseling services in connection with the 17th Judicial District’s pilot court foreclosure mediation program.

Madigan says the $70 million is “a down payment” to help families, boost the housing market and stabilize communities.

An advisory council helped decide how to distribute the money.


Need to know

What: Freeport-based Homestart will share a $2.5 million award with the city of Rockford and several other agencies to help those affected by the national foreclosure crisis. Homestart is the agency formed this year by the merger of Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition and Neighborhood Housing Services of Freeport.

Team partners: Winnebago County Health Department, Comprehensive Community Solutions, Gorman and Co., Bridge Rockford Alliance, Winnebago Homes Association, Jeremiah Development, Swedish American Foundation, Hands That Help/Pilgrims Promise, 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Neighborworks America, Resolutions Systems Institute, Rockford Housing Authority.

Where: The geographic scope of this award includes Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Jo Daviess and Carroll counties; the villages of Winnebago and Lee; and the cities of LaSalle, and DeKalb.

What they’ll do: Homestart and its partners will redevelop properties in three neighborhoods in Rockford, Freeport and Belvidere. Additionally, the money will support a pilot foreclosure mediation court program and a resource center providing counseling, financial literacy and other housing-related education.

Source: Illinois attorney general’s office


Back to July 2013 Archive

CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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