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Foreclosure prevention in Pilsen

The Resurrection Project will host a home rescue fair Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Benito Juarez Community Academy, 2150 S. Laflin.

It’s the third such event sponsored by TRP since joining a nationwide effort, the Alliance for Stabilizing Our Communities, a year ago.  Their previous fairs have drawn as many as 600 homeowners, and TRP expects that many if not more tomorrow, say Kristen Komara.

Six lenders will be present, along with housing counselors from local nonprofits and representatives of the IRS, HUD, Illinois Attorney General, and legal services.

With the participation of lenders, the fair is a way to speed up what can be a drawn-out process, Komara said.

“Sometimes it takes weeks before lenders even give their representatives authorization to talk to us” about a particular case, and “we often spend three to eight months waiting for a response to an application for a modification,” Komara said.  In that time the bank may repeatedly ask homeowners to resubmit documentation for their applications.

Komara said the numbers of homeowners needing help “has not subsided at all” in the past year, though fewer are coming in with exotic and abusive mortgages and more due to job loss.

“Lenders are still not prepared to deal with the large numbers of people coming for modifications,” she said.  And federal foreclosure prevention efforts have yet to be effective.

She said lenders often turn down requests for modifications because they calculate that they can minimize their losses by foreclosing and selling the property – but often those calculations are wrong. “Homes are not going for the value they think they are,” she said.

“We’re saying, why not make the mortgage affordable and give the homeowner an opportunity to keep paying you.”

The Alliance for Stabilizing Our Communities was created by the National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Americans Community Development, with support from Bank of America.

Participating lenders have sent letters about the event to every delinquent homeowner in the Chicagoland area, and TRP did outreach through churches, schools, and radio.

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Category: foreclosures, Pilsen

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