Monday, June 7, 2010

Foreclosure Mediation in Will County

I just received a press release from the Illinois Supreme Court which outlines Will County's new mandatory mediation program for foreclosure cases. (I am having trouble linking to the press release, but a copy can be found on the Suprem Court's website. A summary of the new local rules is also included below.)

I don't even know where to start. I'll probably post a follow-up this week with my thoughts on the matter. This is for informational purposes only. Oh, and by the way, the plaintiffs have to pay for it... filing fees have increased from $276 to $426.

A Summary of the New Will County Local Rules:

1. Any complaint filed for residential foreclosure would be automatically scheduled for a mandatory pre-mediation conference within 60 days.

2. Along with the summons, defendant borrowers will be given a form explaining the mandatory mediation program. The form will state that the case will be evaluated by an outside mediator for possible loan modification or other resolution. It will also state that if modification is not deemed feasible or if the borrower does not want to save the home, then mediation may still be used to assist the parties in discussing a consent foreclosure in which the lender will waive any deficiency against the borrowers.

3. The form also will advise the borrower to bring certain financial information, and will contain a list of local counseling agencies available to assist borrowers in foreclosure. All financial information will be held in confidence by the mediator and not disclosed to any other party without the consent of the borrower.

4. An independent mediator will determine at the pre-mediation hearing whether the
borrower meets initial criteria of having greater monthly income than expenses in order to qualify for a loan workout or modification. If the borrower does not meet the criteria or does not wish to keep the house, the mediator may seek to determine whether the borrower can deed the property to the lender or consent to a judgment waiving any deficiency judgment against the borrower.

5. If the borrower meets initial criteria for a loan modification or wishes to surrender the property in a consent foreclosure or other arrangement, the mediator will scheduled a mediation conference within 30 days.

6. At the mediation conference, a representative of the lender must appear in person with full settlement authority and participate in good faith in the mediation process. Failure to attend or to participate in good faith will result in sanctions by the court, including possible dismissal of the action. If the borrower fails to appear without excuse, the mediation will be terminated and the matter will be referred back to the trial court.

7. Any agreement will be reduced to writing and signed by the parties and their counsel. The Circuit Court may retain jurisdiction of the case for a trial period. If the borrower fails to successfully modify the loan, or if no agreement is reached, the foreclosure will resume in the Circuit Court.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! My case will be one of the first in Will County. I have been paying payments to Chase on a Loan Mod for the past year and just received a summons. Of course, I owe more now than when i started. I have a good job now and can do the payments but it the balance due that I am going to have problems with. Needless to say, I am worried.