Madigan diverts settlement money to help struggling homeowners

August 28, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

flickr/HaarFager
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Monday that $4.7 million will go to Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF), which provides struggling Chicago-area homeowners with free legal assistance.

The grant money comes from a nationwide settlement with five mortgage lenders earlier this year.

Madigan says she hopes this will repair some of the damage done in recent years by a weak housing market.

“One of the things we’re trying to do with this money is to make that possible and to make our communities more vital and stronger.  And all of that will ultimately help the housing market and it does still need a lot of help,” Madigan said.

"We’re starting to see a recovery. But for families who’ve lost their home, for communities that have been devastated, it’s going to be 10 years, 15 years, 20 years for them to get back to where they were.”

The data firm RealtyTrac reports 13,774 Illinois homes received a foreclosure filing in July.

Latest figures from a key index Monday also show Chicago area home prices rose for the fourth straight month in June.