The following is a list of legal service providers throughout Illinois that assist homeowners with foreclosure/loan modification needs and/or mortgage scams.
|Assistance:||Foreclosure and Loan Modification scams|
|Location:||Metropolitan Chicago (there are six service offices in the Chicago area)|
|Phone:||312- 341-1070 (Main Office)|
|Services:||The Legal Aid Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago provides a range of legal services to low-income people, including representation in foreclosure proceedings, suits alleging predatory lending or mortgage fraud, and complaints of foreclosure rescue scams.
|Location:||Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation covers sixty five counties in central and southern Illinois. It has five regional offices, three satellite offices and a centralized telephone intake, and an advice and referral center called the Legal Advice & Referral Center. The regional offices are located in Alton, Champaign, Carbondale, East St. Louis and Springfield. The satellite offices are in Charleston, Decatur and Mt. Vernon.|
|Phone:||Legal advice and referral center at 618-394-7300 or toll free at 877-342-7891|
|Services:||Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation provides free civil legal services to low-income persons and senior citizens, including services to those facing foreclosure.|
Attention homeowners: If you think you have been a victim of a scam, or approached by a scammer, report it to the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network now! Your complaint could provide vital information that will help put loan modification scammers out of business.
Call 1-888-995-HOPE or click here to submit a complaint online. (With your permission, the complaint will automatically be shared with federal, state and local law enforcement)
The easiest way to determine if you are a victim of a loan modification scam or have been approached by a potential scammer is just to ask yourself two simple questions:
If the answer to either question is "yes," report the potential scam now by calling 1-888-995-HOPE or by filling out the simple online complaint form.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Click here for an overview of current rules and laws enforced by federal agencies nationwide against alleged scammers.
If you think an individual or company has violated federal law, do two things: First, click on the ‘Report A Scam’ button to report the scam. Second, contact your Attorney General using the contact information provided below.
Illinois has enacted a state law that directly address loan modification scams. Homeowners with a basic understanding of these laws are less likely to become victims as they may be able to identify potential scams and illegal activities.
Enacted in 2006, the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act (MRFA) is the state’s primary statute that protects residential property owners who are at risk of losing their homes because of foreclosure from scammers by requiring contracts with “distressed property consultants” and “distressed property purchasers” to include certain specific criteria, and prohibiting certain other actions entirely. For the most important provisions of this law, click here.
Why are foreclosure consultants and attorneys teaming up to defraud homeowners experiencing mortgage-related distress? Individuals acting as “foreclosure consultants” are not entitled to receive payment until their loan modification work is completed. However, attorneys are permitted to accept advance fees for providing typical legal services. As a consequence, some foreclosure consultants and others offering foreclosure prevention services may partner with attorneys in an effort to get around laws that prohibit them from receiving payments from homeowners before providing the foreclosure prevention services. Homeowners should know that these partnering arrangements may violate the ethics rules governing attorneys’ professional conduct in Illinois. For some examples of attorney misconduct relating to foreclosure prevention services that are prohibited by the Illinois Bar, click here.
Distressed homeowners and their allies should be aware that many individuals and companies have been known to continue improper operations even after having been caught. Please visit our Nation-wide Prosecutions Against Alleged Scammers page to view a list of alleged scammers in Illinois; the information found on that page is from publically available sources and is not exhaustive. Generally, homeowners seeking loan modification assistance are encouraged to work with HUD certified housing counselors, which can be found by going to http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. Homeowners may also call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline 1-888-995-4673 for free loan modification assistance.Please check http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/homeowners_help.html for updated information regarding the Illinois Attorney General’s mortgage-related fraud actions.
The following is a brief description of state and local law enforcement efforts underway in your state in the fight against loan modification scammers. This information is not exhaustive and may change depending upon the resources and priorities of the state and local government officials and agencies.
As of November 24, 2009, the Illinois Attorney General’s office had sued 31 alleged scammers. Of these lawsuits, nine cases have already resulted in decisions that returned over $1.2 million to troubled homeowners.
The Department's mission is to protect and promote the lives of Illinois consumers by overseeing over one million professionals in nearly 100 industries. The Department also oversees most of the state’s financial institutions, which have combined assets in excess of $4 trillion.
The State’s Attorney for Cook County is active in the effort to fight loan modification scammers and has filed at least one lawsuit.
General Mortgage Fraud Resources (including Loan Modification Scams)
Homeowners can go to the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) website to research or file a complaint against a business. Please note that a new business may not appear on the site. There are branches of the BBB throughout Illinois. To find the BBB nearest you, go to: http://www.bbb.org/us/find-a-bbb/.
File a complaint: https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/getstarted.aspx
Illinois has been hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis. According to RealtyTrac, Illinois had the fourth highest number of foreclosure filings of any state in 2009. Only the extremely hard-hit Sunbelt states of Arizona, California, and Florida surpassed it.
State foreclosure statistics do not break out data by race or ethnicity. However, there is evidence that African-American homeowners and Latinos in Illinois have been disproportionately impacted by the housing crisis as those populations are concentrated in high foreclosure areas. The Chicago metropolitan area has been the hub of foreclosure activity in the state and is home to the vast majority of the state’s minority population.
For information about Illinois’s foreclosure process and timelines, see Illinois Legal Aid Online’s overview here: http://www.illinoisprobono.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_Content&contentID=327#process.
Disclaimer: This website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network does not warrant any information contained in this guide, nor does the Network suggest that the information in this website should be used as a basis to pursue legal advice or decision making.