An Illinois law signed Friday will force mortgage companies to pay higher licensing fees. It also charges higher fines to penalize mortgage fraud.

House Bill 4521, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, and Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins D-Chicago, is an amendment to the state’s Residential Mortgage License Acto f 1987. It will raise the annual state mortgage licensing fee to $2,700 from $2,042, and allows potential criminal, civil and financial background checks on applicants.

“Exercising vigilant oversight in the areas of loan modifications and short sales will be particularly beneficial as we work to slow the rate of foreclosure and protect distressed homeowners from financial exploitation,” said Collins.

The law also significantly increased the maximum penalty for a mortgage fraud violation to $75,000. It was previously $25,000 and provides protections to mortgage licensees who report fraudulent activity.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed another bill that enabled grant funding to be designated for people with disabilities under the Rental Housing Support Program. Rep. Esther Golar, D-Chicago, and Sen. William Delgado, D-Chicago, sponsored the measure.

The law, House Bill 5450, makes $10 million in rental housing subsidies available to eligible landlords over the next 15 years, and takes effect immediately.

“I am committed to strengthening Illinois’ communities and our economy,” Gov. Quinn said. “Thanks to these new laws, more people with disabilities will have a safe and comfortable place to call home and homeowners will be better protected.”

In a statement, Delgado said the previous law required a person to have specific disabilities to qualify for grants, and the new law opens grants up to all disabilities.


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