The Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is funded by the Cook County Board and administered by the Circuit Court of Cook County. Program assistance is provided by the following partners:
Illinois Housing Development Authority
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois. Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $10 billion and financed approximately 210,000 affordable units across the state. An important part of IHDA’s mission is to support long-term homeownership, including foreclosure prevention outreach efforts. IHDA accomplishes its mission through a number of federal and state funding sources. IHDA is also a bonding authority and independently sells bonds, based on its own good credit, to finance affordable housing in Illinois.
The Chicago Bar Foundation
The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) is working with the Circuit Court on the management of the legal assistance and mediation services that are part of the Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program.
The CBF mobilizes Chicago’s legal community to use their time, money and influence so that low-income and disadvantaged Chicagoans can access the legal help they need. Through grants, advocacy, pro bono and partnerships, the CBF takes a system-wide approach to improving access to justice.
The CBF relies on the generous contributions of thousands of dedicated individuals, more than 150 law firms and corporations and many other partner entities to accomplish its work. The CBF is the charitable arm of The Chicago Bar Association.
The Chicago Community Trust
For 94 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2009, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $100 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org.
The Center for Conflict Resolution
A central element of the Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is expert mediation services and management. The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) is the designated entity for pro bono mediation in Cook County and has a long history of successfully providing mediation services to the Circuit Court. CCR will provide the core management and oversight for this portion of the program. While based in Chicago, CCR provides pro bono mediation services for clients throughout Cook County. CCR is fully committed to diversity on its board and staff.
CCR was founded in 1979, with the support of the Young Lawyers Section of The Chicago Bar Association. Originally known as Neighborhood Justice Center of Chicago, the program was launched with a goal of providing free mediation services to help people resolve their disputes. In the years since its founding, CCR has grown to become one of the nation’s premier not-for-profit providers of conflict resolution services and training.
CCR’s mission is to work with individuals, communities, courts and other institutions to manage and resolve conflict. In order to accomplish its mission, CCR works closely with the courts, and the vast majority of CCR’s caseload is made up of disputes referred to mediation by Cook County judges and state’s attorneys. CCR has over 10 mediation programs with various divisions and branches of the Circuit Court of Cook County, including the Chancery Division where foreclosure cases are heard.
Through these programs, the Court refers cases in a wide variety of civil, criminal and juvenile delinquency cases to CCR including, landlord/tenant, small claims, adult misdemeanors, mortgage foreclosures, matrimonial fee disputes and juvenile delinquency matters.
The Chicago Legal Clinic
The Chicago Legal Clinic (CLC) will provide core legal advice and assistance to borrowers, both in court and through expanded services at the Chancery Division Advice Desk (including assistance by phone for the first time). Originally known as The South Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc., CLC was founded in 1981 to address the legal needs of area workers who lost their jobs due to the reduction of steel mill operations in South Chicago.
During the past 25 years, CLC has grown from a small storefront office with a single attorney into a legal services provider for the entire Chicago area. Since its founding, the Clinic has served more than 130,000 clients. In addition to its South Chicago Office, CLC currently maintains offices in Pilsen, Austin and the Loop.
The Clinic provides a Circuit Rider Attorney to the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Lawndale and Uptown several times per month. The Clinic also operates the advice desk for the Chancery Division of the Cook County Circuit Court and an advice desk at the Expedited Child Support and Paternity Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and partners with the Court, the CBF and CARPLS on the Municipal Advice Desk in the Daley Center.
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS) will provide pro bono legal assistance to borrowers in need of extended representation, and also will provide pro bono representation to borrowers in the mediation sessions.
The mission of CVLS is to coordinate, promote and support the involvement of the legal community in the voluntary pro bono representation of individual clients from the ranks of the Chicago area’s poor and working poor. CVLS was founded in 1964 by a few young law firm associates, who, with no funding, set up free “advice clinics” in three inner city churches. Within a few years, they began providing full legal services to their clients. In the mid-1980’s, a Panel Referral Program brought CVLS hundreds more volunteer attorneys and complemented its Neighborhood Legal Clinic Program.
In recent years, CVLS has added specialty panels including the following: contested family law, guardian ad litem for minors, guardian ad litem for disabled adults, and the Chancery Court’s Access to Justice Program. CVLS’ clinic program continues with 20 clinics in area churches and social service agencies.