Is the foreclosure crisis really over? Even when unemployment is low and the economy looks good, Illinois residents continue to struggle with mortgage payments and to worry about the looming threat of home foreclosure. While many Chicago residents experience foreclosure-related anxieties, Illinois residents across the state have concerns about how they can keep their houses even in the face of financial difficulties. South of Chicago, officials in Macon County have filed an application with the Illinois Supreme Court to begin a mortgage foreclosure mediation program similar to the one currently in place in Cook County.
Foreclosure Mediation Program in the Works in Decatur
Across the state of Illinois, counties have developed mortgage foreclosure mediation programs to help borrowers remain in their homes. A program like this already exists in Cook County, and Macon County officials just recently sought approval for something similar, according to a recent article in the Macon Herald Review. The plan in Macon County, if approved, would “require the lender and the borrower in a foreclosure case to meet with a trained impartial mediator, who would explore ways the borrower’s mortgage loan could be reworked or reinstated.” Then, if the medication proves unsuccessful, the borrower’s mortgage would “proceed to circuit court for foreclosure.”
An Illinois judge indicated that the Decatur program could go into effect as early as next year, and it could help a lot of families that remain at risk of foreclosure. According to Macon County Presiding Judge A.G. Webber, “we thought it was worth looking into anything that might, at least in some cases, preserve homes and prevent the problem that foreclosed homes have on the community.” In other words, the program could prevent more properties from “falling into disrepair,” thereby “hurting the property value of the area.” This is a problem that’s already all to common in many of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
The program wouldn’t run entirely on its own. Rather, it would work as a kind of partnership with the Community Preservation Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law. Through the clinical training, law students can receive training as mediators, and they could use that knowledge and expertise to assist residents of Macon County who are facing the threat of foreclosure. Funding for the program would come from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
Thriving Mortgage Mediation Program in Cook County
While Macon County is just now seeking to implement a mortgage foreclosure mediation program, Cook County already has this important resource for Chicago-area residents at risk of losing their homes. According to the Circuit Court of Cook County, the mediation programs aims to “deliver critical services to Cook County homeowners in crisis as early as possible once the foreclosure process begins.” In short, if you’re having difficulty making mortgage payments, you need to take advantage of the mediation program sooner rather than later.
And the program in Cook County recognizes that some homeowners simply won’t be able to stay in their houses. As such, the Circuit Court emphasizes that, in addition to discussing options to stay in their homes, the mediation program also can help Chicagoans to “negotiate a respectable exit” from their properties.
Dealing with foreclosure can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. You shouldn’t have to handle difficult legal and financial questions on your own. Contact the experienced Chicago consumer protection lawyers at the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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