Foreclosure mediation programs in Chicago and Cook County Illinois.

The county created this new program in December for people facing a foreclosure. The mediation program will provide homeowners who are behind on their monthly payments and facing foreclosure with access to face-to-face sessions with lenders as well as professionally trained mediators. During these sessions homeowners will have the ability to renegotiate their mortgages, explore loan modifications, or find other solutions that will thereby lessen their ongoing burden. Over $3 million was committed to funding and paying for the foreclosure mediation program in the Cook County region.

It is based upon, and will be similar to other programs that were created in cities like Philadelphia and states such as New York. Many housing experts claim that it is a vital lifeline to those thousands of homeowners who otherwise would lose their homes, abandon them, or fall further into debt.

One big supporter is Action Now. They are a community organization that works closely with local residents who live on both the South and West sides of Chicago. They think that the program will have a very positive effect on the local housing market and should help stop numerous foreclosures. They think that  it will not only help keep people out of foreclosure to begin with, but that it will also educate them on how to deal with problems that surround foreclosure or that may have lead to it. Action Now can be reached at (312) 676-4280.

How does the Cook County Foreclosure Mediation Program work?

The program will provide an effective way for lenders, banks and homeowners to meet face-to-face. A neutral third party mediator will also be involved in the process to help facilitate the conversation. During this session all parties will be able to sort out their various options with the help of those county-provided counselors and mediators. The primary goal is to find some sort of solution to the foreclosure filing, whether that is a forbearance, a loan modification, or some other option. Cook County would retain lawyers that are familiar with foreclosure practices under the program. Some may be paid by the county, and some may be volunteers.





When a lender sends out a foreclosure notice, homeowners are given the court summons with information on how to meet face-to-face with their lender as well as the mediator. At this point, the mediator (or lawyer)  and the homeowners lender will work to devise a solution for homeowners that works for all interested parties.

Many experts say that forcing lenders to meet with homeowners could go a long way in mitigating the housing crisis in Cook County and Chicago. Since communication has historically been a problem, the foreclosure mediation program will ensure that communication occurs. Also, the incentive has to be that the banks and lenders know they’re not going to get an easy order in the courts on the foreclosure. Click here to learn more, including Q&A, on foreclosure mediation.




Benefits of mediation.

Foreclosure mediation programs are good not only for individuals and families who are faced with losing their homes, but believe it or not, they also help lenders. The reason being is that banks and lenders often lose huge chunks of money when their mortgages and properties go into foreclosure. This is according to many experts, including Mr. Bordyn, who is an a attorney based in Kane County’s Maple Park who specializes in foreclosure defense and loan modifications.

Many studies show that the lenders lose substantially more money in a foreclosure than in any other situation or bad debt they may write. So it is in the lenders’ best interest that they can avoid as many foreclosures as possible in an effort to limit their losses.

How to start foreclosure mediation in Cook County and Chicago

Homeowners just need to dial a toll free number to be put in touch with a counselor. The housing counselor will work for a non-profit agency that is qualified by the federal government as HUD certified to provide free advice regarding buying or renting a home, mortgage defaults, foreclosure prevention, and credit issues. More on HUD foreclosure counseling. To schedule a meeting with a counselor and to begin the mediation process, the homeowner must call the toll free help line provided on the website at 877.895.2444.




By Jon McNamara

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