Dealing with foreclosure? Weekend event offers help

October 15, 2010 2:56:53 PM PDT
An event in Chicago this weekend is offering free assistance to homeowners who are about to lose their homes.

About one out of every 139 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the last quarter of this year, with California ranking first.

Illinois was fourth in the nation in third quarter foreclosures with nearly 48,000. Kendall County had the most foreclosures, up 2 percent from the last quarter. Kane County was second, even though foreclosures were down 6 percent there. Will County was third, up a whopping 22 percent.

How can homeowners who are facing a foreclosure get help?

An event Saturday offers help to homeowners. With recent attention to banks suspending foreclosure, experts says this break will not last forever. They urge homeowners to take advantage of this time and free assistance.

The subjects used to be more interesting. Carl Neal had supplemented his income at Helix Camera and video doing freelance photography for events and commercial work. But, as the economy slowed down, he depended solely on his regular job selling equipment online for Helix.

"It's sparse, so it has taken quite a dive. Now I find myself getting backed up," said Neal.

Neal is keeping up with payments on his Foster Park three-flat, but just barely. He says he has tried to modify his loan without much success.

"Maybe even if they extend the mortgage, give us more time to pay on it," said Neal.

Neal has already signed up for help at the "Fix Your Mortgage" event Saturday. Counselors from Neighborhood Housing Services will be among the counselors offering free assistance to homeowners.

The executive director of NHS suggests concerned homeowners get help now.

"Make sure you intervene early in the process the longer you wait...it's difficult sometimes the longer you wait. They get that phone call, letter, you want to set it aside things will be better next month. You really need to start early in the process," said Ed Jacob, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

Jacob says suspension of some foreclosures offers those trying to prevent foreclosure and those in foreclosure a window of opportunity.

"During this delay in the foreclosure proceedings, for somebody to come in and get that loan modification, and get some help with it," Jacob said.

Neal hopes the window is open long enough to keep his home.

"I want to pay the loan back. I want to do the right thing," said Neal. "They're not making it easy, that's for sure."

"Fix Your Mortgage" Events in Chicago
Saturday, October 16 - 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago 60624

*Doors will close at 12:30 or when they reach 1,000 homeowners

Call to express your interest in attending:

(773) 329-4185 (English)
(773) 329-4181 (Español)

Documents to bring: http://www.nhschicago.org/images/uploads/news/Fix%20Your%20Mortgage%20Oct%2016th.pdf

More info at: http://www.nhschicago.org/site/3C/category/fix_your_mortgage


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