House Speaker Madigan may have Conflict of Interest in IL Forecosure Issues

June 08, 2012

IllinoisThe battle between the banks and community activists over the plethora of foreclosures throughout the state, as well as the banks financial responsibility for the upkeep of abandoned homes and offering homeowner counseling, has hit a strange crossroads in Springfield.

Possibly standing in the way of making the banks pay for the millions of dollars involved in foreclosure properties and related issues is none other than Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

In a great article by John Chase and David Kidwell, the reporters point out that while Madigan is the top lawmaker in the Land of Lincoln, responsible for making sure the banks live up to their responsibilities, many of those same banks and lenders are clients of his private law firm.

Talk about playing both sides. It must be difficult to hold banks accountable for millions of dollars in housing related problems when they are also paying you to represent them. Can you say conflict of interest?

“It undermines the process. I don’t think he should be involved,” said Ernie Lukasik, a coordinator with the Northwest Side Housing Center, a nonprofit group that helps homeowners mediate foreclosure cases. “It’s a clear conflict. Here he is making laws for the banks while he is working for them.”

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown insists that efforts made to make predatory lenders accountable for their role in the housing crisis have been hindered by the all-powerful banking lobby.

Madigan has insisted that he adheres to a “personal code of conduct” according to the Chase/Kidwell report.

While it’s nice to know that Madigan believes he can separate his own vested interests from the best interests of homeowners throughout Illinois, let’s not forget the old adage that power corrupts.

Just what will it take for the state’s lawmakers to stand up to the banking lobby and have the backs of Chicagoland homeowners duped by predatory lenders?

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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