Local homeowners struggling to make monthly mortgage payments may soon be able to seek relief through a new cooperative that offers qualified residents free money.
The Illinois Housing Department Authority announced earlier this month that it would team with the U.S. Treasury Department to create the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, which offers temporary mortgage payment assistance to households struggling with income loss because of unemployment or underemployment.
Eligible residents could receive up to $25,000 in payment assistance.
One of the partnering agencies participating in the program is the Community Service Council of Northern Will County, which serves both Bolingbrook and Romeoville residents.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, the program is aimed at Illinois residents whose incomes have fallen by at least 25 percent, providing a 10-year, forgivable loan to bring them current on delinquent mortgages and then keep them current for up to 18 months.
To become eligible, applicants must own the property in Illinois, have documented income reduction of 25 percent because of unemployment or underemployment through no fault of their own, have a household income at or below 120 percent of the area's median income and have a principal loan balance not more than $500,000 among other criteria.
For a complete list of qualifications, click HERE. Homeowners do not have to repay the loan if all qualifications are met.
According to a California-based company that tracks foreclosures, Will County has the fifth-highest foreclosure rate in the state from May 2010 to May 2011 — a total of 696 new filings for May 2011 in Will County, a 37.52 percent decrease since May 2010.
In , that figure broke down to 93 new filings. For Romeoville, that meant 62 new filings.