Foregoing Foreclosure

By Denise Jackson

July 15, 2010 Updated Feb 8, 2008 at 11:51 PM CDT

There were more than a million and a quarter U.S. homes in foreclosure last year. Illinois is one of the top ten states for foreclosures.

Federal and State officials began taking action last year to try and reduce the number of foreclosures.

Many agencies are involved with the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling initiative. One in McLean County helped a couple from losing their home.

Six years ago Elaine and Keith Kelly moved into their home on Monroe Street in Bloomington. Last summer they were thrust into a dilemma.

"My husband was off work for a while cause he has ulcers on his feet and they got bad. Then his work cut back his hours, way back and I'm disabled," said Elaine Kelly.

At the time Kelly was not getting social security disability pay and times began to get tough for the couple. They fell back 4 months on their 481–dollar monthly mortgage payment.

"I was so depressed. I didn't want to go no place, do nothing," said Kelly.

Kelly soon heard about Mid Central Community Action's Foreclosure Intervention Program. Homeowners facing foreclosure get help from housing counselors who help them set up a payment plan with creditors.

"Some of the things that are done for example is they may do a principle reduction, an interest lot, modify the loan so that they are able to pay back several options not available to everyone," said Rick Barrera with Mid Central Community Action.

Elaine Kelly got her first disability check last month and now with a 2 year mortgage payment plan established she says she can get on with her life.

"I read my bible every day, every night. I have got peace and joy in me now since they fixed this up. After I heard this and they helped me I started going back down to the Jesus House<" said Kelly.

And Kelly says she's happy now to be able to keep her house, where she her husband, and dog Flipper can enjoy 36 grandchildren.

The foreclosure intervention program is free to people of all income levels. For more information on the McLean County program call 888-995–4673. There is a similar program in Peoria, call METEC at 676–3832.

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