Cook County Mediation Program Requesting $3.5 Million

by Chicago Agent

Currently, 75,000 mortgage foreclosures are pending in Cook County, said the Chicago Tribune. In May, the county’s mediation program for foreclosures assisted 216 delinquent homeowners, preventing them from losing their properties to lenders, according to a report from the group. But in order to continue along the path of success, the program will need to submit performance standards to clarify their effectiveness, and also to ensure that the program is a worthy investment.

“Cook County has more foreclosures than any other city or county in the nation,” said Commissioner Bridget Gainer to the Tribune. “Because the problem is so dire and has such a huge impact on our property tax system and communities, we need to be sure that every dollar we spend is an effective one,” continued Gainer.

With the current state of the overall economy as well as the housing market in mind, commissioners are planning to review the county’s mediation program; the program is currently asking the County Board for $3.5 million to leverage the program for the next year or so.

Approximately $6.5 million-$3.5 million at the program’s inception in April, and $3 million through November 30- has gone into the mediation program, and while Gainer claims that “there is no evidence of wrongdoing or mismanagement,” she believes the board needs to “ensure that millions in taxpayer money are being spent prudently.”

Within the next couple of weeks, commissioners can expect the program to submit performance standards, followed by a vote on the requested funding scheduled for July 27.

“I don’t think there’s resistance. I think Commissioner Gainer wants to have a good program,” said Moshe Jacobius, presiding judge of the Circuit Court’s Chancery Division to the Tribune. “We felt it should be passed today, but we have no problem with the commissioners studying it. We think it’s a good program.”

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