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Illinois county awaits mortgage mediation program

Someone concerned about making mortgage payments may understandably worry about an impending foreclosure. Fortunately, there are ways that Illinois residents can avoid losing their homes. It is important for anyone in that situation to know how to work with the lender to negotiate a better rate, delayed payment or other option that would alleviate financial distress. One county is awaiting approval for a program that would help homeowners do just that.

In 2013, Champaign County put a mediation program in place to assist people facing foreclosure. The University of Illinois College of Law’s Community Preservation Clinic trained the staff and mediators there. Now, the clinic is working with officials in Macon County to launch a similar program.

The program would enable borrowers to meet with their lenders under the guidance of a trained mediator. During these meetings, everyone would work together to find a way to either rework or reinstate the mortgage loan. If the process does not work, the case could proceed to foreclosure.

The hope is that a grant for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office would help cover the cost of the program. The initial proposal has undergone several changes, including a new, tentative $75 fee to help pay for the program. Late in 2013, Macon County submitted paperwork to the Illinois Supreme Court for its approval. However, the high court has yet to give the program the green light.

Regardless of whether or not such a program is in place, anyone in Illinois should know that working with a mortgage lender is an option. People who have questions about this topic should speak to an attorney.

Source: Herald & Review, “Foreclosure mediation waits for Supreme Court OK,” Ryan Voyles, Jan. 18, 2016

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