$16M owed to homeowners in Cook Co. foreclosures

August 25, 2011 2:49:00 PM PDT
Some people who lost their homes to foreclosure in Cook County have money coming to them -- and they may not know it.

If there is a profit from the final sale of a home in foreclosure, the proceeds go to the homeowner, not the bank. But in foreclosures, some owners have walked away not knowing they were due.

"We know these are emotional times for individual when they lose their properties. We want to insure when they have lost their property they have not lost all of their rights," Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Dorothy Brown said.

Brown announced a task force to spread the word about a mortgage foreclosure surplus on Thursday.

"This is foreclosure money. It doesn't belong in county coffers, it doesn't belong sitting in a bank just sitting there when in actuality these people can use these funds," Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios said.

The surplus in Cook County is $16 million -- due to 1,900 former homeowners. The profits due range from -- 13 cents to $460,000. The clerk says after the foreclosure sale state law requires the parties to report the profit.

"They are responsible for coming back to the court to notify the judge of the surplus and then judge orders it to be placed into the county's fund," Brown said.

Homeowners who went through foreclosure can start the process to check for proceeds on the clerk's website, services.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/foreclosure/.

"As people try to find the resources they need to put food on the table, to put their kids through school, to send them to college, to save for retirement we need to make sure that everybody has every last dollar that's rightfully theirs," Mike Simmons, of the Chicago Office of the Mayor, said.

Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus, (312) 603-5133 or services.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/foreclosure/

State Of Illinois/Unclaimed Property, www.treasurer.il.gov/programs/up/UP_Login.asp

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