Illinois has decided to set aside part of its funds from the national mortgage settlement to provide free legal assistance for Chicago area homeowners, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced earlier this week.[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
About $4.7 million from the national foreclosure settlement funds will go to the ""Legal Assistance Foundation"":http://www.lafchicago.org/ (LAF).
LAF will use the funds to reach out to distressed homeowners and provide services to keep struggling owners in their home. The funds will also help LAF work with the courts to improve the Cook County Foreclosure Mediation Program and support its staff, which includes nearly 20 attorneys and paralegals.
""This grant money will translate into real help for homeowners who otherwise never would have received it, because the need far exceeds the current legal aid resources,"" Madigan said. ""By ensuring that more homeowners in Chicago and suburban Cook County have an advocate, we can give more people a fighting chance to save their homes and help stabilize communities throughout the region.""
For more than 40 years, LAF has been helping people in the Chicago area with civil legal problems such as foreclosure, domestic violence, consumer fraud, and unfair evictions. LAF has more than 80 full-time attorneys and staff and helps about 55,000 people each year.