What is mediation and how can it help me?
The 17th Judicial Circuit of Illinois’ Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program provides a unique opportunity to aid families throughout Winnebago and Boone counties who are in foreclosure. Mediation is a process where a neutral third-party (a trained mediator) helps borrowers and lenders communicate to explore options available to a homeowner.
While not every mediation resolves the foreclosure, the process can give homeowners an opportunity to speak directly with a representative of their lending institution and may generate options for resolving the foreclosure, including possible loan modification and other available options.
to watch a 5 minute video about foreclosure mediation.
Who is eligible?
This program is available to: homeowners in a residential foreclosure case filed on or after June 1, 2014 in Winnebago County, Illinois; homeowners in a residential foreclosure case filed on or after November 1, 2014 in Boone County; and to other homeowners residing in Winnebago or Boone Counties should the Court refer the case to the Program.
If you have been served a complaint in a foreclosure action - which could cause you to lose your home - the Mediation Program may be available to assist you.
What do I have to do to participate?
- Go to www.ILForeclosureProgram.org to learn more and to submit an application online within 21 days of being served a complaint for a residential foreclosure action.
- Homeowners may contact a represenative of the program at (815) 708-6490 if online access is not available, or call (779) 774-4198 if language assistance is needed.
- Submit any additional documents requested to the program within 21 days of submitting your completed application.
- Participate in a pre-mediation conference with HomeStart. The purpose of this conference is to discuss possible options with a housing counselor, after the counselor has been able to review your financial situation. This conference must be completed within 45 days of submitting your completed application to the Program.
- Attend the mediation session and participate in good faith.
Comply with all program requirements and meet all deadlines. Click here
to review the local court rules that govern this program.
Do I have to pay anything?
No, there is no cost to homeowners for housing counseling and mediation services. This program is supported by several sources, including the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and the Circuit Court through court filing fees.
Does participating in, or requesting, mediation stop the foreclosure case filed against me?
All legal proceedings will be on hold while you are participating in the program.
What is HomeStart?
HomeStart is a nonprofit, HUD approved housing counseling agency. HomeStart helps area residents buy, improve, and save their homes from foreclosure.
*PLEASE NOTE that HomeStart will work with you and will provide housing counseling even if you are not eligible for the Mediation Program.
What if I have more questions?
Call: 779-774-4198 if language assistance is needed.
Where do I call if I need legal help but can't afford it?
You may wish to call Prairie State Legal Services at 888-966-7757 Monday through Friday, 9 am–12 pm or 1–4 pm.
Proceed with Caution
Before entering into any transaction with a person offering to help you who is not affiliated with the Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, please contact a lawyer, government official or HUD-approved housing counselor for advice.