What is foreclosure mediation?
The focus of most foreclosure mediation is seeing whether the homeowner can qualify for a loan modification or other type of loss mitigation. Mediations often involve multiples sessions so the parties can exchange paperwork and resolve issues.
- Are a resident of Cook County, Illinois;
- Received a foreclosure summons from the Circuit Court of Cook County; and
- Live in a building in foreclosure, which may be a single family home, single-family condominium or apartment building with four or fewer units.
Reasons for going to mediation
- It is free, regardless of your income;
- The parties are in control of the dispute at all stages; and
- It is done in a supportive environment. Without a mediator, negotiating with the bank might be tense or difficult.
- Direct contact with a member of the bank
- Speeding up the process of getting a loan modification
- Delaying the foreclosure process while exploring other options
- Focusing on the parties' future relationship and not just on the past conduct
- More flexibility, because the parties control the outcome
Do I have to go to mediation in Cook County?
What if the judge denies my motion?
What is the mediation process like?
The Cook County Foreclosure Mediation Program is made up of these steps:
- Group housing counseling workshop
- One-on-one housing counseling meeting
- A consultation from a legal aid attorney from the Chicago Legal Clinic (CLC)
- Mediation with representation by Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) if you do not already have an attorney
- Teaches you about the mediation program
- Sets up your one-on-one housing counseling meeting
- Lasts 2-3 hours
- Reviews your financial situation
- Makes an individual action plan
- May help you talk your mortgage company to work out a strategy
- May refer you to local resources for job training, tax assistance, emergency grants, and foreclosure prevention classes
- Explain the housing counselor's recommendations;
- Decide if your case has any defenses to foreclosure;
- Help you file the court documents including an appearance and answer, if there are no legal defenses;
- Help you prepare for your next court date; and
- Refer you to a lawyer for further representation, if the consulting lawyer believes there may be a defense or other complicating factor
Getting legal help with foreclosure
What is a case manager?
What happens at mediation?
- Teach each side to see the issue from the other side;
- Help homeowners understand their options; and
- Help parties agree to a solution that benefits both parties, including a loan modification or other form of loss mitigation (such as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure)
What if the bank won't settle?
Your options are:
- If everyone agrees to negotiate further, the mediator may schedule a follow-up mediation; or
- If no agreement is made the case may go forward in court.