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Illinois REAL Solutions CUs discuss VITA foreclosures
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (7/13/09)--Illinois credit unions participating in the REAL Solutions program met to discuss the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and resources from the state Treasurer's office regarding foreclosure and homeownership, said the Illinois Credit Union League. Duane Cole from the Center for Economic Progress and four credit unions that joined the VITA effort--NuMark CU, Sherwin Williams CU, Generations CU, and NorthSide Community FCU--briefed the group on their experiences with VITA. Foreclosure assistance was the primary topic of the meeting. Kevin Smith, director of financial education for the State Treasurer's Office, told attendees how the issue of foreclosure is affecting homeowners and communities across the state and how credit unions could act as a resource for members near foreclosure. He also highlighted tips and resources available from his office. Also from the Treasurer's office was Ben Noven, director of the Finally Home program, which helps state residents buy a home or keep their existing home from going into foreclosure. Credit unions can get involved in the program to help members with bruised credit or a high debt-to-income ratio obtain mortgage loans. The free program is open to credit unions who originate mortgages. The league and the Illinois Credit Union Foundation are working with the National Credit Union Foundation to offer the REAL Solutions for Low Wealth Households program. REAL stands for Relevant, Effective, Asset-building, Loyalty-producing solutions. (See RELATED story: "REAL Solutions CUs offer 26 products in low-wealth markets.")
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