State committee formed to quell Illinois foreclosures
Online Staff Report
A special state committee has been formed to help those facing foreclosure, the Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday, April 11.
The committee will conduct statewide studies and formulate proposals to improve the mortgage foreclosure judicial process.
Brought by Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride and Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis, the committee is prepared to reduce a growing mountain of foreclosure filings. In 2010, about 70,000 filings were made in Cook County alone.
New efforts are expected to complement those already sparked by Kilbride, who brought a foreclosure mediation program to Will County.
United States Vice President Joseph Biden has also recognized other mediation efforts Cook County at recent Middle Class Task Force conference.
“These have been important steps forward for those who are faced with the loss of their homes due to declining home values and our nation’s economic crisis,” Killbride said. “But, the problem isn’t going away.
“The Supreme Court has a keen interest in programs with the strong promise of achieving timely and lasting resolution to tough problems, and we believe this select committee can come up with specific solutions to help families cope with the emotional and financial burdens of those facing such a devastating loss.”
The committee consists of 14 people including judges, bankers, lawyers and an Illinois Attorney General spokesman. The group also aims to initiate measures to protect lenders and families from abusive and fraudulent lending.
“We need to provide protocols that are uniform and exist throughout the state to deal with the explosion of foreclosures that drive down property values and destabilize neighborhoods,” Theis said.
To make the foreclosure process fair and efficient, the Supreme Court has directed the committee to investigate specific areas it believes may need overhauling.
To do that the committee will be reviewing legislative proposals pending in the Attorney General’s Office, studying how other states are responding to high foreclosure rates and possibly implementing statewide foreclosure rules.
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