Foreclosure Mediation Program on Its Way to Cook County
The Cook County Board of Commissioners has agreed to provide Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans with $3.5 million to establish a mediation program devoted exclusively to resolving mortgage foreclosures. The idea behind the program is to determine if some of the nearly 50,000 foreclosure actions that will likely have been filed by the end of 2009 in Cook County can be resolved out of court.
The Cook County courts have been under enormous pressure to bring closure to the massive number of cases that have been filed as a result of the economic downturn. In many of the residential foreclosure matters, for example, the borrowers cannot afford counsel and end up representing themselves. This can lengthen the process by which a foreclosure case goes through the system because unrepresented borrowers simply are unaware of court rules, and judges are willing to grant them leeway during these troubled times.
At this point, it is unclear how the mediation program will work. Will participation in the program be mandatory? Will it only involve residential (as opposed to commercial) foreclosures? Despite the many questions, one thing is for sure. Now that the program has significant funding, it is here to stay.
Much Shelist will continue to provide updates regarding the status of the mediation program and how it might affect lenders and borrowers. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me or your attorney.