Since I began my internship at RSI, I have embraced the organization’s mission of enhancing court ADR systems through program development, research and access to resources. I have worked on a variety of projects regarding different aspects of the RSI mission and have learned that in order to create new resources, a great deal of time and effort must be put into careful analysis and in-depth research of reliable information.
Over the last month, I focused my time and effort into creating a new resource: a full chart of the Illinois foreclosure mediation programs. Foreclosure mediation, which helps homeowners effectively communicate with lenders about their homes, is one specific area of court ADR in which RSI is deeply involved. RSI has been providing research and resources on foreclosure mediation programs since the housing crisis started and has successfully developed and now administers three foreclosure mediation programs in northern Illinois.
Currently, Illinois has a total of eleven foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state (below, you will find individual charts, or “snapshots”, for each of these programs). Six programs are operating under grants from the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Three of the AG-funded programs are administered by RSI while the other three are administered by by the University of Illinois College of Law (two programs) and by Dispute Resolution Institute (one program). In addition to these AG-funded programs, Illinois has five other foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state, which are operated by their local courts.
To incorporate all of these Illinois foreclosure mediation programs into one uniform source, I created charts with clear, concise, and accurate information on each of these eleven programs. These new charts include detailed information about each program such as a contact person for the program, an explanation of each program process, and links to helpful websites and statistics.
While a project like this can produce great resources, it wasn’t without its challenges. One challenge I faced when analyzing these programs is that each one is unique. Each program was created in conjunction with its local courts and works with local resources such as housing counselors or legal aid services. While the uniqueness is important to the program’s success within its community, it can make comparisons amongst the programs difficult. I also faced challenges while researching the programs, when little information was readily available. Some program information was easy to find and access, while other programs were difficult to get in touch with and research results only consisted of information that was publicly available.
In the end, these new charts provide a great resource for easy to access information that is clear and accurate on the foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state of Illinois. This will also make it easier for future interns to keep up to date.
In other news, stay tuned for more foreclosure mediation resources. A larger chart of all the foreclosure mediation programs across the United States, with information on programs state-by-state, will be posted soon!
Individual Program Snapshots: