THE BLOG
10/15/2012 05:07 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2012

Gov. Pat Quinn Dings Chicago, Cook on Foreclosures - Hello 2014?

Governor Pat Quinn rolled out a batch of Illinois foreclosure prevention statistics over the weekend but disclosed no statistic that actually revealed how many foreclosures have been prevented.

But the governor may have revealed something about 2014.

Quinn met with South Holland homeowners on Saturday who are seeking help from looming foreclosures, and the governor sought to offer comfort and assistance.

During his meeting with anxious homeowners, the governor hailed his Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network program.

"The Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network provides homeowners with the guidance they need to do what's best for their families at no cost," said Quinn.

The governor's housing chief cheerily chimed in about the program's value, too.

"Studies show that housing counseling nearly doubles the chances of mortgage modifications and reduces the likelihood of re-default by at least 67 percent," said Mary Kenney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. "We are pleased that through IFPN, more than 37,000 homeowners have been referred to counseling."

Kenney, however, supplied no specific Illinois modification number.

According to Quinn's press statement, the foreclosure prevention program generated the following results:

• Almost 350,000 homeowners have accessed either the IFPN website or the Illinois Hardest Hit program website.
• More than 10,000 people have called IFPN help hotlines.
• More than 37,000 homeowners have received homeownership counseling.
• Almost 1,800 people have attended a series of IFPN workshops across the state.
• More than 4,600 homeowners have been given more than $52 million in mortgage payment assistance with almost $105 million in funds approved through the Illinois Hardest Hit program.

But nowhere in the governor's press statement does it mention the number of foreclosures prevented by that $52 million. What did taxpayers get for the $52 million?

Oddly, the governor's press statement included figures dinging the foreclosure rates in the City of Chicago and Cook County, governed by Quinn's new nemesis Mayor Rahm Emanuel and potential gubernatorial challenger Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

The Quinn statement noted:

As of September, according to RealtyTrac, one in 376 Illinois homes had some form of foreclosure filing on record. The first half of 2012 saw a 3.1 percent increase in foreclosure filings in the Chicago region, compared to the same period in 2011. For the same period, Cook County as a whole saw an increase of 3.4 percent.

If Preckwinkle, who seems to be gearing up for a challenge to Quinn, actually takes the plunge, she may see the Cook County foreclosure rate emerge as a Quinn talking point against her.

Why else would Quinn rain on his otherwise partly sunny message?

Of course, Preckwinkle may note that Quinn owes his 2010 general election victory to Cook County, a county for which he has some responsibility.

And Rahm may just respond by saying "#$^&^%!!!, Pat."

We'll see.


davidormsby@davidormsby.com