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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Posts Tagged ‘foreclosure mediation’

RSI Turns 20!

Susan M. Yates, April 22nd, 2015

Can you believe RSI is twenty years old today? Back in 1995, no one could have predicted that what started as an idea – collect and disseminate reliable information about court ADR in Illinois – would become a nationally-recognized non-profit providing a full array of services in support of quality court ADR.

Indeed, RSI’s life as an independent non-profit is much shorter – not quite two years. We started life as part of Chicago’s Center for Conflict Resolution and spun off in July of 2013. These past two years have seen a dramatic expansion of RSI’s services. In addition to the court dispute system design, program monitoring and evaluation, and online resource center at CourtADR.org that have long been staples of RSI’s work, we are now administering court mediation programs and training mediators.

The motivations that undergirded the founding of RSI continue to steer our work. Chief among those ideas: sharing reliable information about court ADR among court ADR programs can elevate the quality and effectiveness of court ADR services. We are living out that idea with comprehensive monitoring of foreclosure mediation programs administered by RSI and by our program partners. By collecting reliable and accurate data, RSI is able to provide program evaluation that is improving the quality of foreclosure mediation throughout the state.

Want a way to celebrate? Go to RSI’s Razoo site and make a donation! We plan to be around for a lot of double decades to come, so how about some multiple of $20?

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. (more…)

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.

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Hosting an Uplifting Media Event for Foreclosure Mediation

Kimberly Ackmann, November 14th, 2014

This week Kimberly Ackmann, our Foreclosure Mediation Program Coordinator, 17th Judicial Circuit, contributes her first blog post about her program’s successful event.

When my colleague Shawn Davis and I were asked to plan a publicity event for our foreclosure mediation program in one week’s time, it amazed me how many things we had to think about that were not foreclosure. I did not have any previous knowledge about press releases or media events, but I was able to get feedback and pointers from our whole foreclosure mediation team. In the end the event was a great success, because we were able to manage the details. For anyone who may need to promote an ADR program like this, here’s an outline of what we did. (more…)

Housing Matters

Shawn Davis, October 10th, 2014

Last Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to attend the Housing Matters conference hosted by Housing Action Illinois, a statewide coalition formed to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing throughout the state. Their annual conference is designed to bring together housing counseling agencies, homeless service providers, developers of affordable housing and policymakers. The conference was filled with valuable information and was a great opportunity for RSI to connect with the housing counselors, legal aid providers and research experts that help make our foreclosure mediation programs successful.

A few of the workshops that I attended really stood out as applicable to the foreclosure mediation work that RSI is doing. (more…)