Obama administration to help Illinois homeowners

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Aug. 11, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.

Illinois will receive $166.4 million in foreclosure prevention funds to help unemployed homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.

Illinois is among 17 states and Washington, D.C., to receive part of a $2 billion Treasury Department Hardest Hit Fund. All of the areas were selected because their unemployment levels are above the national average over the past 12 months. Each of the states will use the funds to temporarily help eligible homeowners pay their mortgages while they look for jobs or take job training.

Illinois’ unemployment rate in June, the most recent month available, was 10.4 percent, compared to a national jobless rate of 9.5 percent.

Fund allocation was based on state population totals.

The administration also announced the creation of a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program that would provide up to 24 months of financial aid to homeowners in other geographic areas who are at risk of foreclosure because they’ve experienced a substantial drop in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment or a medical condition

Additional details of the programs are expected to be announced in coming weeks, the administration said.

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One comment:

  1. Lauren Wiener Aug. 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Dear Mary Ellen Pollmolik:

    I just heard the news, and I found your article on those unemployed homeowners struggling to meet their mortgage payments. I was searching for additional information, but the keyword jumped at me, “foreclosure.” Not sure if I qualify with my condo. I’ve been out of work, June 8, 2008, over 2-years now; Cobra terminated December 331, 2009. All unemployment benefits terminated June 2010 forcing me to apply to the Social Security Administration for some means of income. My automatic deposit is a grand total of $884.000 per month. Do you know if I would qualify?

    There is no savings; the 401K is gone. I closed credit cards to stop any increases in financial charges, and have a home equity that I removed into a second checking to pay my mortgage and home equity monthly, total about $13,000.00 remaining creating a balance of $82,000.00 due.

    Yes, I have applied for employment. I recently found out the suburb I live in is currently out of money for utility emergencies for the unemployed. I asked if I could contact those corporations for donations; those that pride themselves on philanthropy. The response was they send out a newsletter. I asked further if anyone makes the effort to contact more than 100-150 corporate headquarters in the Greater Chicagoland area. They had one individual, but they don’t make the calls. Solution: I would be more than glad to follow=up, make the calls, appointments, and attempt to get assistance so the program can continue. I was rejected. I NEVER asked for money.

    I contacted Community Health, the free clinic for expanding their services beyone Chicago and the south side. I offered to meet, follow their protocol, and mentioned an unused building in Wheeling, the former Wick’s Furniture for a north location. It was suggested I submit my proposal to the board. MY PROPOSAL? I comment followed by stating they aren’t interested on expanding north in the suburbs at this time.

    Please understand, being unemployed, you cannot just send out resumes, but have to think outside the box. It is not the responsibility of the government to support the unemployed, for how long? All the intelligent individuals can’t come out with any ideas? How sad!

    Additionally, I am in the process of attempting to have two free clinics, one at McCormick Place or the United Center, the other in Rosement Convention Center. The healthcare bill will not cover everyone, but is a help. There will still be those without coverage. Why not help thy neighbor?

    Mentioned is the unsettling anger in the country. If you listen to the news media, the conversation is easily targeting corporations and financial institutions. I was in my local bank a few months ago, and you learn so much just by listening. They are stuffing their nest not knowing what the situation is going to be. Simple! Years ago, you were required to have a 20% downpayment, meet credit rating to qualify. Without guidelines, without protocol followed, we get sloppy. I really detest and am amuzed at the same time when I overhear everyone blaming each other.

    My own family member memtioned: Why am I creating positions that don’t exist? I’m not. I never asked for a nickle, but offered to help anyway I can, and refused. It’s not just sending out resumes. Sorry, I said athat already.

    I worked 10-years for a medical publisher. Loved my job, the business culture and again, recently told that atmosphere no longer exists. WHY NOT? No one says, “Good morning; Please; Thank you.” Where are the manners, respect gone. Something so little creates huge productivity.

    I almost forgot: after 6-months and no employment, I called the suburb where I live, and questioned, “What are you doing for your residents that find themselves unemployed, even have their Cobra running out soon?” The response was a soft lady-like voice, “Nothing!” You’re reading it correctly.

    Additionally, 6-months before my Cobra was to be terminated, I spoke to each of my doctors, and needed answers to their policies. What are they doing with their patients unemployed, about to loose their healthcare insurance? My doctors treat me, but I don’t really call. I appreciate the fact they haven’t abandoned me, but can’t pay, go elsewhere. Yes, let’s now speak of the clinics, where they have their policies, and have no interest in what you have to say. I had them remove me from their database. I almost forgot, I have Crohn’s Disease, HPV, and if not checked and treated, we know the outcome. It took me 6- to 8-months to secure my medication. I had my mammogram also.

    You still listening?

    Holy Family on Golf Road, (believe it’s Des Plaines), between River and Rand offer mammograms for $125.00, and your last x-rays for comparison. The organization in Maywood for Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening isn’t accepting new patients at the time I went for my testing. No, I didn’t call to update this information.

    I’m going to put a smile on your face! I contacted my bank regarding my own mortgage and home equity, what I could possibly do. Quick simple math: 1 + 1 does not equal the correct answer. I have a 6& mortgage; offered 5.375% to refinance. Now, we have $350.00 for the appraisal, over $1,200.00 filing fees, and then asked their fee of $500.00. “What are you doing for me today?” NOTHING!!

    Anger? It’s all around. The next one is their to help. WRONG! What are you doing? You have a corner? A tin cup? Stop crying no money or poor. As you may surmize, I don’t do pity and fight being a statistic. I was recently at the local food store. The young couple in front of me was using their food stamps. Apparently, the cashier charged them for 3 bananas, and couldn’t afford anymore. I had them wait, the cashier ring up the remaining 6 bananas, bag it, and it was my pleasure to hand the bag to the couple. It’s embarrassing, so to reassure them, I stated I was also out of work. Asked them to just say “thank you, remember today.” Maybe they aren’t financially able to help anyone, but they can shovel their neighbors walkway. It’s really refreshing to see someone smile and give back.

    $884 per month – do I qualify for assistance so I can keep my condo? It would be nice. Instead of anger, let’s think of something we can do for our neighbor. With the right attitude, we can work together. So many crying over spilled milk. You healthy – your children well – count your blessings.

    April 2009, Illinois passed an Act for the uninsured for fair fees for hospitalization and out-patient treatment. The Illinois Department of Insurance has a listing of all the hospitals they sent funding to; likewise, hospitals are tax exempt. You smiling – hope so. This information was a mere 5 telephone calls. Prescription medication was over 30 telephone calls. It’s a process, and I would be more than happy to assist anyone. We easily forget some are just not savy on the computer nor know what questions to ask.

    Knowledge is a legacy to hand down. If we can make someone’s day a little easier, why not? Thank you for listening.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Lauren Wiener
    195 W. Brandon Court
    Palatine, IL 60067
    847-776-0522 home
    224-392-0619 mobile