September 18, 2007

Honorable Rod R. Blagojevich

207 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Blagojevich:

As members of the Senate Black Caucus, we stand in strong support of Senate Bill 1167, sponsored by Senator Jacqueline Collins and Representative Karen Yarbrough. Because mortgage fraud, predatory lending, and foreclosure rates have disproportionately affected our community, this bill is a legislative priority of our caucus. We respectfully request that you sign Senate Bill 1167 into law.

The Chicago Reporter recently released a study that found the Chicago area to have the highest rate of sub-prime mortgages than any other metropolitan area in the country. Nearly fifty percent of these high-cost loans were received by African-American and Latino homeowners. Since 2005, foreclosure rates have skyrocketed, and they are expected to continue to rise unless we do something to combat unscrupulous lending practices that have devastated families and neighborhoods.

Senate Bill 1167 contains comprehensive reform provisions to tackle the predatory lending problem. The decision of whether or not to accept a loan is ultimately up to the homebuyer. However, we want to empower individuals to fully understand the terms and conditions of a sub-prime loan before they make what will most likely be the largest purchase in their lives.

As Governor, we have been honored to support you on initiatives that have had a positive effect on individuals throughout the State. We were proud to have supported you to raise the per-pupil spending level for K-12 education more than any governor in history. Together, we were able to ensure that more children came to kindergarten prepared by expanding access to pre-school. We stood with you in support of providing health care coverage to all Illinoisans. Please join us now as we strive to protect families from devastating foreclosure rates by signing Senate Bill 1167 into law.


Senator James Meeks

ILBC Joint Chairman

Senator Kwame Raoul

ILBC Senate Chairman

Representative Marlow Colvin

ILBC House Chairman