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Saving Homes, Building Understanding

Just Court ADR by
Susan M. Yates, Jennifer Shack, Heather Scheiwe Kulp, and Jessica
Glowinski.

Resolution Systems Institute is proud to share its latest publication, Saving Homes, Building Understanding: An Evaluation of the Eight Foreclosure Mediation Programs Funded by the Illinois Attorney General. This new evaluation looks at four-plus years of data across eight different programs to provide a comprehensive analysis of foreclosure mediation in Illinois, and to highlight how differences in program models impacted outcomes.

The report found that from 2014 to 2017, the programs served over 5,500 homeowners and helped 1,100 of them keep their homes. Over 90% of homeowners who responded to surveys better understood the foreclosure process after participating in the programs. A similar percentage reported that their mediator treated them with respect. These are all tremendous successes, particularly given how confusing and overwhelming the foreclosure process is to homeowners.

Comparing among data between the programs, we also see empirical support for certain principles of dispute system design and access to justice. Reducing barriers to entry increases participation. Increasing access to housing counseling and legal services makes it more likely people will complete the programs. And strong messaging and buy-in from the court makes it more likely homeowners enter the program.

Kudos to my colleague Jennifer Shack for her tremendous work on this evaluation. I think the timing of its release is fortuitous: the concept of ‘home’ is central to this holiday season. It’s worthwhile to bear in mind the critical role our justice system plays in shaping people’s relation to their homes.

Read the online summary of the report here.

                        author

Eric Slepak

Eric Slepak-Cherney is the Associate Director at Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), a Chicago-based nonprofit that works to improve access to justice through court alternative dispute resolution. In this role, he assists in setting the strategic vision for RSI, coordinating the development and administration of the organization’s programs, and managing its… MORE >

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