SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-The Illinois General Assembly (IGA) has passed SB16, a measure that establishes a "fast track" expedited foreclosure process to help address the issue of abandoned residential properties in Illinois. The Illinois league reported that passage of the bill followed two years of negotiations in which it played a "key role." The bill now awaits Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's signature.

The ICUL said the fast track concept has been of "paramount focus and a fundamental priority," and it has been working with sponsors in an attempt to "fine-tune" the mortgage foreclosure process to make it more efficient and expedient, and avoid provisions that penalize lenders through increased fines and penalties.

"SB 16 has accomplished these goals by allowing lenders to shorten the foreclosure process for abandoned properties by approximately 18 months," the ICUL said. "As a result, lenders will obtain title to these properties more quickly and then assume responsibility under applicable ordinances to maintain and secure them, which will be good for neighbors, neighborhoods, and local governments. Lenders will benefit, too, because they will acquire properties that have suffered less damage and deterioration and can be sold for much more, and they will also save 18 months of costs like property taxes, insurance, and loan servicing fees. The negotiated language includes a better and more efficient foreclosure process for lenders and good protections for consumers."

The Illinois legislation also includes:

* Funding for remediation of abandoned property as well as pre-foreclosure counseling, paid out of fees paid by lenders.

* Bankruptcy relief provisions.

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