Millions from foreclosure settlement going to Legal Assistance

Bryan Cohen Aug. 28, 2012, 2:00pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the distribution of $4.7 million in funding on Tuesday to the Legal Assistance Foundation from a national foreclosure settlement reached earlier this year.

The grant will provide legal services to homeowners who are struggling in Chicago and suburban Cook County. The funding is the result of Madigan's role in securing a $25 billion national settlement in February with Citibank, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Ally Bank, formerly known as GMAC.

The settlement resolved allegations of widespread robo-signing of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices the servicers engaged in while servicing homeowner loans.

Under the terms of the national settlement, Madigan's office recovered money from the banks to remediate foreclosure in the state. The distribution of the funding will benefit housing counseling services, community revitalization efforts and legal assistance programs to counteract foreclosure impact on Illinois communities.

In April, Madigan announced that she would distribute $20 million of the funds recovered from the settlement to legal aid services and her office is currently analyzing grant proposals toward that goal.

"This grant money will translate into real help for homeowners who otherwise never would have received it, because the need far exceeds the current legal aid resources," Madigan said. "By ensuring that more homeowners in Chicago and suburban Cook County have an advocate, we can give more people a fighting chance to save their homes and help stabilize communities throughout the region."

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