Saturday's event was designed to give residents the information they need to prevent foreclosure. It proved so popular that, in the end, organizers were simply not able to accommodate everyone.
Chicago resident Lesa Moore has lived in a West Side home for more than 16 years. However, recently, the mother of three has started to fall behind on her mortgage payments. As her expenses have gone up and her income has gone down, making the $1,300-a-month payment is no longer a viable option.
"When you're talking about a single parent maintaining a home, where I still have to do repairs, pay for the car I need for work, it began to be a problem," Moore said.
So, she joined hundreds of others Saturday at the Chicago Police Training Academy, seeking help under a new federal program designed to allow homeowners in trouble avoid foreclosure by helping them submit applications to modify their loans.
"People needed to bring information about income and debt. So, we need bank statements, mortgage statements and pay stubs," said Hank Shulruff of Attorney's Title Guaranty Fund.
The program, implemented by the Obama administration in March, is expected to help 4 million homeowners nationwide. According to Mayor Daley, more than 80,000 of them are in Chicago alone.
"Let's be realistic. This economy is hurting everyone. It doesn't matter how big your city is. It doesn't matter where you live. This economy is affecting everyone," Daley said.
Under the plan, homeowners may be eligible for a loan modification if they:are behind on their mortgage or at risk of falling behind due to hardship are an owner-occupant of a 1 to 4 unit property have a loan that was originated before January 1, 2009 Have an income that will support monthly mortgage payments.
After going through her paperwork Saturday, Lesa Moore received the good news that she is eligible for the loan modification, and her application has been submitted to her loan provider.
"I feel like if they made it more comfortable for me, around $600 to $700, then I'd be ok," she said.