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Agency getting $4.7M to fight foreclosures

Updated: August 28, 2012 5:56PM

The Legal Assistance Foundation will receive about $4.7 million in new funds to provide legal services for struggling Chicago and Cook County homeowners.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the funding Tuesday for the agency, which will use the money to provide outreach and legal services to help prevent owners and renters from losing their homes, a statement from the Madigan’s office said.

The foundation “will help homeowners preserve their home equity and collaborate with courts to make improvements to the Cook County Foreclosure Mediation Program,” the statement said.

The money will help pay for nearly “20 attorneys and paralegals to expand legal services to more distressed homeowners and renters in subsidized housing, and coordinate legal training seminars on foreclosure defense and consumer bankruptcy throughout the state.”

The funding is part of a $25 billion national settlement reached in February with the nation’s five largest bank mortgage servicers for fraudulent practices including — “robo-signing” — against struggling homeowners.

Madigan announced in April that she would distribute $20 million of the settlement money to legal aid services, and Tuesday’s announcement was the first step in that plan, the statement said.

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