Legal Aid Groups Receive Significant Donation to Help At-Risk Chicagoland Homeowners Prevent Foreclosure

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Pierce and Associates, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Codilis & Associates join to donate $125,000 to the Chicago Bar Foundation.

CHICAGO--()--Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. (ATG), the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and the law firms of Pierce and Associates, and Codilis & Associates joined forces to donate a total of $125,000 to the Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) ( Representatives from each organization presented checks on Thursday afternoon, December 30 (photo and caption available).

The donated funds, which include $50K from Pierce and Associates (, and $25K each from ATG (, Codilis & Associates –( and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (, will be used by the CBF to support four nonprofits that assist homeowners with foreclosure prevention and mediation in Cook County.

Presenting the checks at the CBF were Peter Birnbaum, president and CEO of ATG; Denis Pierce, founding partner of Pierce and Associates; Ernie Codilis, founding partner of Codilis & Associates; and Sandy Macfarland, vice chairman and CEO of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company.

Bob A. Glaves, executive director of the CBF, said the donations will enable his foundation to award grants to the following organizations that offer free legal help to homeowners facing foreclosure:

• $25,000 to the Center for Conflict Resolution;

• $25,000 to the Chicago Legal Clinic;

• $25,000 to Chicago Volunteer Legal Services; and

• $50,000 to the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.

In 2010, Cook County recorded 50,889 foreclosure filings in the Chancery Division, compared to 47,049 foreclosure filings in 2009.

“These grants will be put to great use,” Glaves said. “All indications are that we’ll see even more foreclosures in 2011 than we had in 2010 – further increasing the demand for free legal assistance.”

“These recipient organizations will use the funds to support their ongoing efforts to assist homeowners with foreclosure prevention, and legal advice and representation for borrowers already in foreclosure through the court process,” Glaves continued.

ATG gave more than $100K in 2010 to several scholarship funds and housing-related nonprofit organizations.

ATG also continued in 2010 the unique partnership it forged in early 2009 with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) to help at-risk homeowners apply for loan modifications at a series of large-scale outreach events. With NHS, ATG co-sponsored in 2010 six “Fix Your Mortgage” foreclosure-prevention events throughout Chicago and three suburban “Keep Your Home” events. The suburban events were also in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust and other groups. The city of Chicago was the primary sponsor of the Fix Your Mortgage events.

“In 2010 the housing market experienced one of the worst years in many decades, with a record number of people losing their homes to foreclosures,” said Peter Birnbaum. “ATG continued to be committed to helping at-risk homeowners by donating money, and recruiting and training hundreds of real estate attorneys to volunteer their time at foreclosure-prevention events in and around Chicago.”

Several thousand at-risk homeowners attended and received foreclosure-prevention help at the six Fix Your Mortgage and three Keep Your Home events ATG co-sponsored in 2010.

ATG plans to continue devoting the majority of its charitable efforts to helping at-risk homeowners in 2011.

Denis Pierce, a long-time member of ATG, also has a strong charitable focus. He established his family foundation in 2007, which supports many nonprofit agencies dealing with housing and homelessness issues (

As with ATG, the law firm of Pierce and Associates is also a major supporter of NHS and other housing-related organizations. Pierce helped build the original relationship between NHS and ATG.

In addition, representatives of ATG, Pierce and Associates, Codilis & Associates, and NHS sit on the Cook County Chancery Court Foreclosure Advisory Panel.

About Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc.

Through its nearly 4,000 member attorneys across Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, ATG has presided over 2.5 million home closings and provided homebuyers with competitively priced title insurance since 1964. The only bar-related title insurance company based in Illinois, ATG has built a significant market share by providing excellent service at competitive prices. It has a financial stability rating of “A Prime Unsurpassed” from the independent ratings bureau, Demotech.

Release Summary

Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Pierce and Associates, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Codilis & Associates join to donate $125,000 to the Chicago Bar Foundation.