CHICAGO (CBS) — An estimated 300 people turned out for an event on the South Side on Saturday for some free advice on how to stave off foreclosure on their homes.

Homeowners crowded the hallways and auditorium of the Arturo Velasquez Institute on South Western Avenue in Chicago.

They had a chance to meet with their lenders and HUD-certified counselors to talk about catching up on payments, lowering interest rates and getting more time to pay.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

This is was the 19th such stop on Gov. Pat Quinn’s Mortgage Relief Project tour of the state.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary Brent Adams says it was also the biggest.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says requesting counseling can allow a homeowner to get a grace period.

One couple said they’re grateful for the counselor’s advice – advice which directly contradicted what their bank had told them.

The man and woman – who did not want to use their names – feel a bank representative told them to stop paying their mortgage so she could collect fees associated with foreclosure proceedings.

Those unable to attend the event can contact IDFPR for assistance during the week.

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