Free Help with Foreclosure Cases for Homeowners in Cook County

Free Help with Foreclosure Cases for Homeowners in Cook County
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Last updated: July 2010

What is the Circuit Court of Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program?

The Circuit Court of Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is a free service offered by the Circuit Court of Cook County in partnership with several state and local organizations to help Cook County homeowners who are facing possible foreclosure. 

The Mediation program was created to help homeowners learn about the foreclosure process, explore their options, and possibly work out an agreement with their mortgage lender.

What kind of help can the Mediation Program give me?

Depending on your situation, the Mediation Program can provide several types of free assistance. Available services include:

  • A free meeting with a housing counselor to talk about your options;
  • Free advice from a lawyer who can help you understand the housing counselor's recommendations. The lawyer can also help you prepare for a court date where the judge will decide whether your foreclosure case should be referred to mediation; and
  • If the judge decides your case should be referred to mediation, you will have the chance to meet with your mortgage lender and a mediator to talk about your mortgage outside of the courtroom to see if an agreement can be reached.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process in which you and the other side try to work with an impartial person, called a mediator, to come to an agreement about how to solve your dispute. As part of the Mediation Program, mediators will work with homeowners and their mortgage lenders to try to reach an agreement about their mortgage that makes sense and seems fair to both sides.

Do I qualify for the Mediation Program?

To get free help through the Mediation Program, you must:

  1. Be a resident of Cook County, Illinois;
  2. Received a foreclosure summons from the Circuit Court of Cook County; and
  3. Live in a building in foreclosure - which may be a single-family home, single-family condominium or apartment building with four or fewer units. 

I meet the requirements, how do I get help from the Mediation Program?

If you have received a foreclosure summons, your first step is to call the toll-free help line and schedule a free meeting with a housing counselor. A foreclosure summons are court papers that tell you that your mortgage lender has filed a lawsuit against you for not paying your mortgage and you need to come to court. The toll-free help line is 877-895-2444; or for TDD contact 312-836-5222.

To best help you, the housing counselor will need you to bring certain information to your meeting. To help you prepare for your meeting, use this document checklist

I need more information

To learn more about the Mediation Program, visit the Circuit Court of Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program website

For more information about other services available to homeowners facing foreclosing in the Chicago metropolitan area visit the Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative's website.

You can also find more information on mortgage foreclosure in the "Related Articles" section.

Helpful Organizations
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For a list of organizations in your area that may be able to help you, enter your zip code.

       

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