Resources / Study / Innovation for Court ADR

Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Does It Matter If Your Home Loan Is Owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? RSI Is Set to Find Out

Jennifer Shack, March 26th, 2015

Foreclosure mediation is proving to be a fruitful field for research. As part of the comprehensive evaluation I’m conducting of six foreclosure mediation programs in Illinois, I interviewed those involved in administering those programs. One of those administrators, who also is one of two mediators for a program in central Illinois, said he was seeing a difference in outcomes for cases based on the loan’s investor. Investor restrictions often dictate the outcomes that are available to homeowners facing foreclosure. Government-sponsored enterprises (GSE’s), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have different restrictions than federal agencies, like FHA and VA. For example, FHA’s loss mitigation policies say that homeowners can’t be offered a loan modification if they had obtained one in the previous two years. The administrator believed those differences in outcomes was caused by the differences in regulations. Read the rest of this entry »

Family Law Arbitration Act

Susan M. Yates, March 24th, 2015

People who have been involved with family law are likely to have encountered mediation, especially in child-related issues. But what about arbitration?

The Uniform Law Commission is in the midst of drafting a Family Law Arbitration Act designed to provide a structure for arbitration of family law matters. The draft act provides many of the typical characteristics of arbitration that distinguish it from litigation. For example, parties will enter arbitration through an agreement to arbitrate; parties select and hire their arbitrator; arbitration proceedings and awards can be confidential; and arbitration awards are final, with very limited causes for appeal to a court. Family law arbitration differs from commercial arbitration in some key respects, such as greater opportunities for judicial review of awards determining child custody and support.

Family arbitration is quite dissimilar from family mediation. Most importantly, the arbitrator makes a decision that Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago-Area Settlement Week

Mary Novak, March 16th, 2015

The Illinois Chapter of the Association of Attorney-Mediators (AAM) is sponsoring a Settlement Week from June 1-5, 2015. Illinois mediators will mediate civil cases throughout the Chicagoland area at no cost to the parties.

Attorneys who have cases they would like to bring to Settlement Week can jointly select from a list of participating mediators.  Mediators will include members of the Illinois Chapter of the Association of Attorney-Mediators and other mediators certified by the Circuit Court of Cook County or another Illinois Circuit Court.

The mediations will take place during the five-day Settlement Week and are expected to take a full or half day. The focus of the program is on cases in the civil calendars in the Courts of Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

For additional information, visit http://www.attorney-mediators.org/Settlement-Week.

Connecticut Evaluates Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program

Shawn Davis, March 9th, 2015

In October 2014, the Connecticut Judicial Branch released an evaluation of its Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program. The Connecticut study evaluates six years of foreclosure mediation program data, dating from the program’s inception in 2008. As RSI prepares the first evaluation of Illinois’ six foreclosure mediation incubation programs, the earliest of which began accepting cases in December 2013, it’s interesting to review Connecticut’s data and how the program has evolved over time.

Given Connecticut’s six year history with foreclosure mediation, the report is able to explore how homeowners who participate in the foreclosure mediation program have fared over time. This information is very valuable, since the long term sustainability of mortgage modifications, such as those offered through HAMP, have often been called into question. Read the rest of this entry »

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 by Liz Markel on the topic of navigating through conflict at the Nonprofit Chicago blog. The blog is hosted by the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University. 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 »