HUD Secretary kicks off national tour in Chicago

March 9, 2012

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan was in Chicago Thursday to kick off a series of round table discussions detailing the recent $25 billion mortgage settlement between states attorney and five major lenders.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan was on the committee that negotiated the settlement and took part in the round table discussion on how to implement the settlement.

“I began here because there is no better example of how to do that work than Lisa Madigan,” said Donovan.

The settlement involves allegations of “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices. The five lenders, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, agreed to pay $25 billion in mortgage relief. Illinois is set to receive $1 billion.

Donovan went on to praise Madigan’s decision to use an additional $100 million awarded to Illinois as part of the settlement to provide housing counseling and legal services for homeowners.

“There are other attorneys general that are weighing decisions right now about whether to use this funding to fill gaps in budgets,” said Donovan.

Since the mortgage settlement was announced in early February some 3,000 homowners have contacted Madigan’s office in hopes they might qualify for relief under the mortgage settlement. The settlement has not been officially filed in court yet. That could come as early as Friday or next week.

“Once that happens it will take a number of months until we start seeing relief being provided,” said Madigan.