National Foreclosure Settlement Project
In 2012, the federal government and 49 State Attorneys General reached a $25 billion settlement with five of the nation’s largest banks to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses. Under the settlement, the State of Illinois received $2 billion in direct assistance to homeowners for loss of homes and loan modifications. The state also received $100 million in additional funding, which then-Attorney General Lisa Madigan dedicated to supporting efforts to rebuild communities that were hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. She dedicated $30 million of that remediation funding to Legal Assistance and Foreclosure Mediation programs. To further address the causes and effects of the foreclosure crisis, the Office of the Attorney General contracted with Karen Muchin and Robin Snyderman of BRicK Partners to help design and monitor the $70 million Community Revitalization and Housing Counseling Program.
With the support and engagement of an Advisory Council composed of public and private housing experts, the team released an RFP/Q that generated over 136 applications totaling $507 million in requested funds. In July 2013, following an extensive review process, the Attorney General announced that 53 awardees had been selected to receive the $70 million set aside for the Community Revitalization and Housing Counseling Program. The awards, focusing on areas of the state that showed significant need based on foreclosure and vacant housing data, were distributed in the following categories:
- Community Revitalization (29 awards totaling $57,565,536)
- Housing Counseling (11 awards totaling $6,267,000)
- Experts and Technical Assistance Providers (13 awards totaling $6,184,323)
Together with Chris Rintz of New England Homes LLC and key leaders in the Office of the Attorney General, including current Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the BRicK Principals monitored the program, including all of the awardees as they worked to reach and, in many cases, exceed their initial goals. While a few awardees are still completing their work plans, through fall 2018 almost 5,000 foreclosures have been avoided, more than 3,300 homes have been stabilized, and approximately 54,000 households have received housing counseling or financial literacy services. These outcome numbers will increase by the end of the program, and they represent positive impacts on a diverse range of beneficiaries including urban, suburban and rural homeowners, homebuyers, renters, families and special need populations. In addition, the awards supported many exciting initiatives and achievements, such as the genesis of land banks and other innovative revitalization and financing programs, the creation of cross-jurisdictional partnerships, and the building of capacity in areas across the state.
Additional Information on the National Foreclosure Settlement Project
Innovation in Housing Investments Forum with Attorney General Kwame Raoul, hosted by Forefront
On April 5, 2019, the new Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and his staff joined BRicK Partners, a number of the original program Advisors and awardees, and other state leaders and national experts to review outcomes and lessons learned from the Community Revitalization and Housing Counseling Program. Particular attention focused on maintaining the momentum of this work and its tremendous overlap with Illinois’ Opportunity Zones.
Announcing Foreclosure Relief Awards: Illinois Foreclosure Settlement Press Conference
In 2013, the Illinois Attorney General announced the recipients of the most recent round of Illinois foreclosure relief funds that were dedicated to community revitalization and housing counseling. In total, fifty-four organizations and entities received $70 million to support neighborhoods and households struggling with the ripple effects of the foreclosure crisis statewide. Karen Muchin and Robin Snyderman worked with the Attorney General and the project Advisory Council on this effort, and joined these parties at the Press Conference. In addition to Attorney General Madigan, speakers at the Press Conference included Advisors Antonio Riley, King Harris, Juanita Irizarry and Sharon Hess. The speakers discussed how this approach supports resilient and sustainable communities, and highlighted the diversity of people and groups both involved and positively affected by the organizations awarded funds from this round of the National Foreclosure Settlement.