Troubled Illinois homeowners facing foreclosure will get up to a 90-day grace period under a law signed by Quinn on April 5. Public Act 95-1047 gives homeowners more time to work with lenders and housing counselors to avoid foreclosure.
The new law adds a new section to the Code of Civil Procedure regarding procedures and forbearances for delinquent residential mortgages. The law provides that if a mortgage secured by residential real estate becomes delinquent by more than 30 days the mortgagee must mail a notice advising the homeowner that he/she may wish to seek approved housing counseling (defined in the legislation as a counseling agency approved by HUD).
No foreclosure action can begin before mailing this notice- which is spelled out in the legislation. If, within the 30-day period an approved counseling agency provides written notice to the mortgagee that the homeowner is seeking approved counseling services, then no legal action shall be instituted for 30 days after the date of that notice. During the 30-day period the homeowner or counselor or both may prepare and proffer to the mortgagee a proposed sustainable loan workout plan (defined in the legislation). The mortgagee determines whether to accept the proposed sustainable loan workout plan. If the parties agree to the plan no legal action shall be instituted for as long as the sustainable loan workout plan is complied with by the homeowner.
If IDFPR determines that the demand for counseling services in an area exceeds the number of available approved counseling agencies, the Secretary can certify other persons or entities as approved counseling agencies. These provisions will be repealed in two years and apply only to residential real estate that is the homeowner’s principal residence.
When the bill was approved in the Senate in January, Senator Jacqueline Collins lauded the measure as a model for other states. The legislation also included other provisions, including clarifications to the Home Equity Assurance Act and some changes to the regulatory fees paid by various financial institutions.