Help for Homeowners and Renters
- Resources if you are behind on your mortgage and have NOT received a foreclosure summons to go to court
If you are behind on your mortgage, live in Cook County and have received a foreclosure summons (a notice to appear in court):
• Call 1-877-895-2444 to obtain help in finding a HUD-certified housing counselor to request free housing counseling, legal aid, and mediation services that will help you communicate with your lender and avoid foreclosure when possible.
• You may also visit visit www.cookcountyforeclosurehelp.org
• These services are free.
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If you are behind on your mortgage and have NOT received a foreclosure summons to go to court:
If you are uncertain what to do, contact a housing counselor certified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. They will help you identify what options are available to you and chart the best course of action. The State of Illinois' Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network can connect you with free, local housing counseling help with this look-up tool. You can also be connected with a counselor through the HOPE hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (4673). Beware of scams that ask you for money up front or ask you to sign away the deed to your house. Reliable, HUD-certified help is always free.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a step-by-step guide for homeowners behind on their mortgages, including reverse mortgages.
This tool provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury can estimate whether you may be eligible for HAMP.
You can find HUD-certified counselors near you by attending a homeowner outreach event. Find an event near you:
Chicago, North Side
Chicago, Northwest Side
Chicago, West Side
Chicago, South Side
Chicago, Southwest Side
South Cook County
Click here to see if you are eligible for the federal government’s Making Home Affordable refinancing and loan modification plan.
Consult NHS of Chicago's Do-it-Yourself Fix Your Mortgage kit, which provides information on free borrower outreach days, federal assistance programs, necessary documentation, and more.
The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan provides a homeowners’ referral helpline, which offers guidance on avoiding mortgage foreclosures: (866) 544-7151
Click here for mortgage and foreclosure resources from the Attorney General, including information on your rights as a homeowner in foreclosure and a Mortgage Lending Guide.
Fannie Mae's Know Your Options website can guide you through your options and help you connect with a housing counselor, including an interactive video guide to guide you to resources that fit your situation.
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Resources for unemployed and underemployed homeowners
If you live in Illinois and have lost your job or experienced a loss of income, you may be eligible for assistance through the Illinois Hardest Hit Fund. Please go to this website to see if you are eligible for up to $25,000 of payment and reinstatement assistance.
Are you an owner of rental property who has fallen behind on your mortgage payments?
As a landlord, you may have certain responsibilities for a building in foreclosure. If your building is in the city of Chicago, you may wish to seek legal advice to determine if you are subject to the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and what responsibilities that entails. For example, the Ordinance requires that landlords notify tenants within 7 days of being serve a foreclosure complaint. You must also continue to uphold the terms of the lease until a new owner has taken ownership of the building.
In 2012, the federal government expanded the Home Affordable Modification Program to owners of rental buildings. Visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or contact your lender for more information.
If you are the owner of an affordable apartment building with at least five units, the Community Investment Corporation may be able to help you avoid foreclosure. Please contact CIC at (312) 258-0070 for more information. If you own a building of less than four units that you also live in, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago may be able to help. Please contact 773-329-4010 and ask for lending services.
The Spanish Coalition for Housing offers bilingual support to landlords. For help, please contact them at (773) 342-7575 or www.sc4housing.org.
Spanish Coalition for Housing ofrece apoyo bilingüe para propietarios. Para más información favor de llamar (773) 342-7575 o visitar www.sc4housing.org.
Lakeside Community Development Corporation provides group workshops, special seminars, and individual counseling to multifamily building owners and managers. Please contact Bibian Guevara, Rental Housing Advocate, at (773) 381-5253 or visit their website for more information.
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In-person help for borrowers with Chase and Fannie Mae loans
If you have a Chase or EMC loan and are struggling to make payments, you can call the Chase consumer hotline at 866-550-5705 or visit one of three Chicago region Chase Homeownership Centers to discuss your situation face-to-face with loan counselors:
5813 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, 773-594-7670
4730 W. 79th St., Chicago, 773-284-5854
1836 N. Broadway St., Melrose Park, 708-450-3702
If you have a loan owned by Fannie Mae, you can call the HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE or talk to Fannie Mae counselors in-person at the Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center:
One South Wacker Drive, Suite 15C14
Chicago. IL 60606
Phone: (866) 442-8572 Toll Free
Fax: (866) 442-6238 Toll Free
For information on how to set up an appointment, please click here.
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Fraud and Discrimination Resources
If you have a complaint about applying for a mortgage, trying to receive a loan modification, or any other part of the mortgage and foreclosure process, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If you believe your home was foreclosed upon in error in 2009 or 2010, you can apply to have your case reviewed by federal regulators. You may be eligible for compensation. More information is available at the official website and at this FAQ by the media outlet ProPublica.
Do you believe you were a victim of deceitful or fraudulent lending? Contact state mortgage fraud investigators at 1.800.532.8785 or call the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at 1.877.793.3470 to file a complaint.
See tips from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on how to recognize and avoid mortgage fraud here.
File a complaint with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan using this form and send it to the address at the top of the form.
Do you believe you were a victim of discriminatory lending based on race, gender, national origin, or any other reason? Contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at 1-800-669-9777 to file a complaint.
You can find out where to file a complaint against your lender here.
Refinancing and Sustainable Mortgage Options
Do you owe more on your mortgage than your property is worth? You may be eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which will allow you to access lower interest rates, or a Federal Housing Administration program that will allow you to refinance into an FHA mortgage with a lower principal. Please contact your mortgage servicer to determine eligibility.
The Illinois State Treasurer’s Finally Home Program helps Illinois residents purchase or refinance a home if they have difficulty qualifying for a mortgage. This provides an alternative to predatory loans that can lead to foreclosure.
Neighborhood Lending Services offers a number of sustainable mortgage and refinancing products to low- and moderate-income lenders.
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You may wish to contact a lawyer to discuss your options:
Free or Low-cost
CARPLS Legal Aid Hotline at (312) 738-9200 for legal advice and referral to legal aid for low-income residents of Cook County
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago at (312) 341-1070 (LAF does not handle cases of landlords in foreclosure)
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services at (312) 332-1624
Chicago Legal Clinic at (773) 731-1762
Illinois Legal Aid Online offers legal information about a variety of mortgage problems for homeowners and renters whose buildings are in foreclosure.
The Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service (312/554-2001- if you want to hire a lawyer, lawyers are available to talk with you for a small fee)
The Illinois State Bar Lawyer Finder (800/922-8757 – if you want to hire a lawyer, lawyers are available to talk with you for a small fee)
The National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) – if you want to hire a lawyer to represent you in case of fraudulent, predatory or abusive business practices.
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CARPLS Legal Aid Hotline at (312) 738-9200 for legal advice and referral to legal aid
Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (312) 347-7600 resources on tenants’ rights, foreclosure help, discrimination, legal aid, and more.
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (312) 341-1070
Illinois Legal Aid Online offers legal information for renters whose landlords are in foreclosure.
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HUD guide to avoiding foreclosure
Freddie Mac advice on avoiding foreclosure
Federal Reserve mortgage foreclosure resources
Illinois Housing Development Authority foreclosure assistance
FDIC foreclosure prevention toolkit
OCC Consumer Advisory on reverse mortgages
Do you need help with employment, taxes, utilities, or some other emergency? Please check this list of service providers compiled by Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.
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