Legal clinic seeks justice for housing fraud victims, Collins receives award for legislation targeting scams

collins ok 081318CHICAGO – State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) was the recipient of the first Lillie Pearl award from Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere (MOVE) in recognition of her legislative efforts on the same day a Chicago area legal clinic called on victims of alleged housing fraud to seek their help.

Collins received the award as Reverend Robin Hood, a West Side community activist and founding member of MOVE, and attorneys from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic announced they will partner on behalf of victims of Mark Diamond, who the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois charged with defrauding more than 120 homeowners in a reverse mortgage scheme. Hood presented Collins with the award on the organization’s behalf at William Penn Elementary School during the observance of Martin Luther King Day, citing her legislation providing homeowners protections from reverse mortgage fraud.


“Northwestern Law’s effort to aid homeowners as they bring these serious allegations is precisely the reason I fought for and successfully passed the 2015 Reverse Mortgage Fraud Act. Now more than ever, it should be the duty of our elected officials to fight on behalf of citizens against exploitative or predatory financial products and services,” Collins said.

“We’ve seen major transformations in the economy that have progressively concentrated more wealth in the hands of fewer people. I’m honored and humbled to have received this award, especially on the day that the whole nation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King.

“But I’m also reminded by this important announcement today that we must all stand together and continue Dr. King’s work. This should be not only a day of refection but one of recommitment and rededication to the cause of social justice.”

The legal clinic announced that its attorneys will represent Diamond’s alleged victims free of charge. Individuals affected by Diamond’s alleged fraud and in need of legal representation are encouraged to contact the legal clinic at 312-503-1473 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

Deputy Majority Caucus Chair
16th Senate District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR).

Biography: Born in McComb, Miss.; grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Studied journalism at Northwestern University and graduated from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Divinity Schoool. Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago and 2001 Legislative Fellow with U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Recipient in 2011 of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Financial Literacy Leadership from the Illinois state treasurer.

Associated Representatives:
Mary E. Flowers
André Thapedi