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Quinn/Madigan Tout Housing Credentials Before Illinois Realtors

by Peter Thomas Ricci

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan spoke about housing-related in separate speeches before the Illinois Housing Leaders Conference in Springfield on Monday, offering a possible snapshot of the upcoming battle for the 2014 Democratic nomination for governor.

Quinn, according to a CBS report on the political figures’ appearances, spoke at length about the Illinois Housing Authority’s efforts on veterans housing, and praised real estate agents as the “heart and soul” of Illinois’ neighborhoods.

Similarly, a story from the State-Journal Register reported that Quinn touted Illinois’ “Hardest Hit” program, which has partly used federal stimulus dollars and aided more than 7,000 Illinoisans in 95 counties stay in their homes.

“We all know the key to economic recovery is making sure our housing market is operating at full speed, and I look forward to working with you on that this coming year,” Quinn said. “[When I was state treasurer,] over and over again I saw Realtors find creative ways to help everyday, hardworking people and families get that opportunity at the American dream. I really feel that your association is one of the most creative groups I’ve ever encountered … You know how to make things happen.”

Quinn, the current Illinois governor, is planning on running for reelection in 2014, and though Madigan has not formally announced her candidacy, she is widely expected to run for the office.

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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

For her part, Madigan spoke about her office’s aggressive legal pursuits of the banking industry, which included a 2011 settlement with Bank of America over discriminatory loans (based on a 2010 lawsuit filed against Countrywide Financial) and a similar lawsuit against Wells Fargo for predatory lending. Madigan also received national attention for her lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s for its faulty credit ratings during the housing boom.

“At times, [it] feels like it has become my life’s mission to save homes and rebuild our housing market in the wake of the mortgage crisis that turned into a devastating foreclosure crisis,” Madigan said.

“While there are encouraging signs that the housing market is rebounding, quite frankly the news is mixed,” Madigan also said. “Although we’re seeing recovery in some markets, that recovery is by no means spread evenly … I will continue to fight for relief on behalf of Illinois homeowners to restore our housing market and ultimately to restore and revitalize our economy. I look very much forward to continue to work with the Realtors to get this work done.”

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