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A bipartisan deal reached to avert U.S. government default. Also on our Tuesday rundown: a new report calculates the high hospital costs for employers. Plus, new legislation could help protect Florida's at-risk wildlife.

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Survey: Illinoisans Facing Foreclosure Rarely Offered Relief

December 22, 2008

Chicago, Illinois - As the number of home foreclosures continues to increase, a new report finds many Illinois homeowners are not being offered a chance to get into a more-affordable mortgage. According to the survey released by Housing Action Illinois, three quarters of the lenders rarely offer loan modification programs that could help those in danger of foreclosure.

Policy Director Bob Palmer says something needs to be done to help keep people in their homes.

"The federal government has taken a lot of steps to bail out the financial sector, but so far, homeowners have been left to fend for themselves."

Palmer says it's not just the homeowners who would benefit from a restructuring. He argues it's also good for the companies holding the mortgages.

"Servicers are going to be much better off helping people stay in their loans and having them continue to pay on those loans. It's going to be more profitable for them then if the house goes into foreclosure."

Palmer and others are asking lawmakers to mandate a modification of loan terms, and until that becomes law, impose a temporary moratorium on foreclosures. Some lenders have objected, saying loan modification hurts their investment interests.

Mary Kuhlman/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IL