The last Great Recession is slowly fading into history. According to the numbers, it ended in about 2009 or so. But that does not mean that the negative effects of the economic downturn have disappeared. The burst of the housing bubble that was a big contributor to the problems can still be felt today around DuPage County and the rest of Illinois. For many people what that means is the threatened loss of a home through foreclosure.

Whether your goal is to stay in your home, move on with life under the most favorable set of circumstances possible or simply find the most reasonable legal strategy to achieve your objectives, speaking with an attorney with experience in real estate, bankruptcy and foreclosure law is strongly recommended.

As evidence that the difficulties of the Great Recession are still with us, all one has to do is look at the latest efforts by the Federal Housing Financing Agency to ride to the rescue. Early last month, the FHFA announced it would press ahead on plans to write down mortgages for certain homeowners still reeling from having “underwater” loans dating back to the recession trigger date.

But according to real estate market analytics company RealtyTrac, the new principal reduction program on the table won’t help very many people. After comparing publicly available data on mortgages and deeds of trust in the country with the eligibility criteria set by the FHFA, only about 34,000 borrowers stand to get help.

When you stack that up against the nearly 7 million loans that RealtyTrac estimates are in serious trouble, it means there won’t be much help to go around, even though Illinois ranks among those states with the most homeowners who would benefit.

Make no mistake; help of this kind can’t be dismissed out of hand. But considering its limited reach it becomes apparent that anyone facing difficulties would do well to become fully informed about all their legal options.