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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Navigating Your Way Through Conflict — Q&A with Susan Yates

Just Court ADR, February 27th, 2015

Recently our Executive Director Susan Yates participated in this Q&A at the Nonprofit Chicago blog by Liz Markel on the topic of navigating through conflict. Susan will present a workshop on this subject at North Park University on March 25. Reprinted from Nonprofit Chicago:

Is there anything positive about conflict?

Yes! If we all just got along all the time, we wouldn’t improve our decisions or learn how to understand one another better. Just as we know that diversity of backgrounds and experiences enrich our nonprofits, so does some healthy disagreement. The question is how you and your organization manage that conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

Mediation Program Outreach: Reflecting on What Works

Shawn Davis, February 10th, 2015

RSI started running three foreclosure mediation programs in 2014, which means we’ve spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about how to make mediation services more accessible and increase program usage rates. Such issues can be a challenge and often require creativity, especially with limited resources. Here’s what we’ve learned:

Meet People Where They’re At

Reaching the homeowners who would personally benefit from our services is always a challenge. In an effort to spread the word about our foreclosure mediation program, we’ve attended countless city council meetings, real estate events, church events and even carnivals. While getting out into the community is really important for forging relationships with community leaders and getting press coverage about mediation services, it can be a difficult way to identify and connect with those we serve. The more that outreach efforts can directly target a pool of eligible program participants, the better. However, this kind of targeted outreach, such as going door-to-door to homeowners in foreclosure, can be extremely expensive and labor-intensive. The alternative, which we have found to be both effective and efficient, is to have homeowners referred directly into the mediation program when they come to court to appear for their foreclosure case.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Happens to Temporary Loan Modifications Reached in Foreclosure Mediation?

Jennifer Shack, January 26th, 2015

A lot of the cases that go through RSI’s foreclosure mediation programs end with a temporary loan modification – a trial payment plan in which the homeowner pays a new mortgage amount for a few months. If the homeowner makes the payments on time and in full during the trial period, the homeowner and bank agree to make the modification permanent. This means that a temporary loan modification doesn’t necessarily mean that the homeowner has averted foreclosure. Because of this, I was interested to find out if homeowners in our programs were able to convert their temporary loan modification into a permanent one. Now that a significant number of temporary payment periods have come to an end, I have finally been able to delve into that question. Read the rest of this entry »

Court ADR Trends for 2015

Mary Novak, January 22nd, 2015

As we enter a new year, we’ve decided to round up some of the most interesting trends we’ve observed in court ADR.

Word image of popular words from trends post

Court mediation used to respond to major economic crises and natural disasters

Last year perhaps the most visible trend in court ADR was the courts’ use of mediation to address truly large-scale crises. From the mediators who helped opposing groups reach the Grand Bargain that led Detroit out of bankruptcy, to the mediations being used to address thousands of insurance claims that remain from Hurricane Sandy, courts essentially created ad-hoc ADR programs to respond to major crises. Read the rest of this entry »

Big News in Court ADR — A Look Back at 2014

Mary Novak, December 18th, 2014

Our monthly e-newsletter Court ADR Connection has updates on RSI’s activities, cutting-edge ADR research, and the latest court ADR news from across the country. As we wind down 2014, I thought it might be fun to take a look at a few of the most significant news stories we reported on this year.

Detroit Bankruptcy Mediated in “Grand Bargain”

The most-watched court ADR news story of 2014 may have been the mediated settlement that resolved the City of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy. Without doubt, this riveting drama of competing interests coming together to form a “Grand Bargain” will be studied and discussed for years to come. We reported on facets of this story a few times, both here in our blog and in our newsletter: Read the rest of this entry »