Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation Newsroom

August 15, 2012

Madison County foreclosure mediation process helps some residents keep their homes

The article below appeared in the St. Louis Beacon on August 14.  It highlights the work of Linda Jun, Americorps VISTA Attorney in our Western Regional Office in Alton.

MADISON COUNTY FORECLOSURE MEDIATION PROCESS HELPS SOME RESIDENTS KEEP THEIR HOMES

In Economy

By Mary Delach Leonard, Beacon staff

12:10 am on Tue, 08.14.12

The Madison County Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation program is headquartered in a former hospital building in Wood River, but there are no miracle cures to be found here for the foreclosure ills that have plagued the nation since the financial crisis of 2008.

Many county homeowners do, however, find solutions — or at least answers — regarding their individual cases through this mediation process that was implemented in 2011 for Madison and Bond counties by the Third Judicial Circuit Court.

Program administrator Linda Jun said that in best-case scenarios, homeowners and lenders work out loan modification or repayment plans, but she finds that even homeowners who aren’t successful in working out a home retention plan often walk away with a clearer understanding of what happened.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Jun said. “It’s a vehicle for parties to come together outside of the court process to have a conversation.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety: https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/26492/illinois_foreclosure_mediation_081312

April 18, 2012

Madison/Bond County Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program Partners With St. Louis University Legal Clinic

Foreclosure Program to Launch

WBGZ Radio 4/15/2012
By Doug Jenkins

Many Madison County homeowners who are facing foreclosure have seen relief through a 10-month-old program. Land of Lincoln Legal Aid in Alton launched the Madison County Foreclosure Mediation Project about 10 months ago, and it has seen such success, it is now partnering with the St. Louis University Legal Clinic. This is a project that is available as part of the legal paperwork that comes with the foreclosure process.

When receiving court papers, those being sued will also receive a request for remediation and a financial questionairre. Homeowners will simply have to fill out those documents and submit them back to the court, but program administrator Linda Jun says that is not to say every case can be fixed.

She says there are about 1,500 foreclosures in Madison County every year. While it is unlikely 100% of those would file for the program, Jun says they have already had 185 inquiries, of which they accepted about 80%, and nearly half of those resulted in homeowners avaoiding foreclosure.

http://altondailynews.com/news/details.cfm?clientid=17&id=28389

 

February 17, 2012

County Program Helps Homeowners Keep Their Homes

St. Louis Suburban Journals – Ramona C. Sanders, Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Collinsville resident Jacqueline Hoffmann and her three daughters hope the Madison County Foreclosure Mediation program will help them keep their home.

Following a divorce and job loss in 2010, Hoffmann has had trouble paying her $1,100 mortgage payment with her income — unemployment and child support.

“Since I’m unemployed, I don’t have credit enough to get an apartment,” Hoffmann said. “I’ve gone through all the different agencies I can, I’m trying like everything I can. All I need is for my house payment to come down and I’ll be more than happy to pay.”

That’s why Hoffmann has turned to the newly formed circuit court-based program for residents in Madison and Bond counties. Since the mediation program started in June, it has helped 19 homeowners protect their homes from foreclosure, according to administrator Linda Jun.

Jun said the mediation program helps lenders and borrowers come to an agreement on how to stop the borrower’s home from being foreclosed, or sold by the lender to cover the unpaid loan balance.

“The mediation brings the parties to the table to an alternative arena to the court to explore alternatives, to see if the case can be resolved without a judgment and foreclosure,” Jun said.

County residents are notified that they are eligible for the foreclosure mediation program when they are served with foreclosure court documents. Jun said the homeowner also gets a notice about the program with a request for the homeowner’s information.

Jun said there are usually two pre-mediation meetings held with the homeowner so that he or she can gather all of the required documentation. The full mediation session involves a meeting between the lender and their attorney and the homeowner and their attorney or advocate. It is overseen by one of the 12 attorneys or experienced mediators who volunteer for the program.

January 20, 2012

MADISON COUNTY RESIDENTIAL FORECLOSURE MEDIATION PROGRAM WORKING

COUNTY: FORECLOSURE PROGRAM WORKING
By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT
January 19, 2012,The Telegraph – EDWARDSVILLE

About 80 percent of those asking to participate in a new Madison County foreclosure mediation program have been accepted, and 19 of them have kept their homes or renegotiated financing, court officials say. People who want to take advantage of the program are referred to attorney Linda Jun, of the Land of Lincoln Legal Services Foundation.

Most of the people who ask for the service do not have lawyers, and Jun’s effort is to bring the defendant and the plaintiff together to work out an agreement.

“This success is greatly owed to Linda Jun, the program administrator and Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs who presides over the docket,” said Circuit Judge Dave Hylla, who oversees the program.

“This program is a win-win for all parties. I am confident that we can continue to bring homeowners and lenders together, outside of court, and help them achieve successful outcomes to their cases,” Stobbs said.

Chief Judge Ann Callis announced in April that homeowners facing foreclosure can take advantage of the program in the wake of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling establishing the mediation program in Madison County.

In some cases, a loan might be restructured, and in others the homeowner might be able to give up the home and move without the necessity of proceeding with the foreclosure suit, Jun said.

Homeowners facing foreclosure receive information about the program with their court papers. To participate, they must submit a request for mediation and meet certain financial eligibility requirements.

The local rule that established the Madison County Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program is the result of months of discussion among lenders and homeowner interests, Callis said.

Callis headed up a committee that was formed in the fall of 2010 to explore the possibilities of forming the service. Homeowners’ attorneys, banks’ attorneys, mediators, Realtors and judges were involved in the discussions.

Read more: http://www.thetelegraph.com/articles/working-64823-county-edwardsville.html#ixzz1k11sZu2W

December 5, 2011

Homeowners Taking Advantage of Madison County’s Foreclosure Mediation Program

Published in The Telegraph – December 04, 2011
By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT

EDWARDSVILLE – As of the end of October, 52 people had been referred to a new Madison County Residential Mortgage Program since its inception in April, said Linda Jun, program administrator of Land of Lincoln Legal Services.

An estimated 20 more have joined the program since the end of October.

“It’s picking up. I think more people are becoming aware of the service, and there may be more foreclosure cases being filed,” Jun said.

The people who have taken advantage of the new service are being helped with the paperwork needed to handle their cases, she said. Most of them do not have lawyers.

Chief 3rd Circuit Judge Ann Callis announced in April that homeowners facing foreclosure can take advantage of the program in the wake of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling establishing the mediation program in Madison County.

The program creates a chance for homeowners and lenders to come together to explore mutually beneficial alternatives to foreclosure.

In some cases, a loan might be restructured, and in others, the homeowner might be able to give up the home and move without the necessity of proceeding with the foreclosure suit, Jun said.

Homeowners facing foreclosure receive information about the program with their court papers. To participate, they must submit a request for mediation and meet certain financial eligibility requirements.

Read more: http://www.thetelegraph.com/articles/program-62890-foreclosure-homeowners.html#ixzz1ffltlwjW

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