State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka Opens Disaster Recovery Program

Victims of Labor Day’s heavy rain and flooding in Winnebago County can now apply for low-interest loans through local participating financial institutions under Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka’s Disaster Recovery Program.

During a press conference held at Cholke Photography in Rockford, Topinka said the State Treasurer’s Office has pledged $1 million in low-interest loans through local financial institutions in Winnebago County. The Treasurer will make additional funds available if necessary.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey issued the disaster declaration as a result of the severe weather system that moved through the region on Labor Day. Extensive flood damage to homes, businesses, local roads, cars and other properties penetrated the area.

“We’re making these loans available so people can rebuild their lives and businesses and put this disaster behind them,” said Topinka. “The last thing they need is to be saddled with high monthly loan payments while they’re trying to get back on their feet.”

The rate to the bank is approximately 3.46 percent with rates changing daily. Additionally, by law, banks are allowed to add no more than a three percent processing fee. During the one-year term of the loan, the borrower only has to make interest payments to the bank, with the principal coming due at the end of the term.

“Disaster Recovery Loans through the Treasurer’s Office will have a great local impact by giving residents and businesses temporary relief until insurance settlements can be obtained,” said Topinka.

Through the Treasurer’s Disaster Recovery Program, discounted state deposits can be made in local financial institutions to fund loans at much less than the interest rate usually charged for consumer loans. The funds are traditionally used as bridge loans for pending insurance settlements and feature a one-year term.

“These funds are available to qualified applicants through any financial institution willing to participate,” said Topinka. “That’s what sets them apart from federal funds. People need help now, and that’s where we come in.”

Topinka urges storm victims to contact their local financial institution for information about the Disaster Recovery Program. Financial institutions are being contacted today about the application procedure. More information may also be obtained through Topinka’s office by calling 312-814-1700.