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Kevin O'Flaherty

One of the most stressful experiences a homeowner can encounter is facing foreclosure. It can be overwhelming to navigate the foreclosure process's uncertainty. Fortunately, foreclosure mediation programs are offered by the state of Illinois to provide homeowners with a path to resolve their mortgage debt and possibly avoid foreclosure altogether.

Foreclosure mediation is a process in which a neutral third party guides the homeowner and the mortgage servicer to reach a resolution regarding the delinquent mortgage debt. The Illinois Housing Development Authority, or the IHDA, oversees the mediation program. The IHDA contracts with a network of non-profit housing counseling agencies to provide mediation services to eligible homeowners.

How the Illinois Foreclosure Mediation Program Works

Homeowners whose primary residence is in Illinois and are facing foreclosure on their first mortgage can participate in the Illinois Foreclosure Mediation Program. Participation can start at any point during the foreclosure process, but starting as early as possible is recommended to maximize the chances of a successful outcome. For the most up to date information regarding foreclosure read our article, Illinois Foreclosure Law Changes 2023.

To begin participation in the program, homeowners must contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and request mediation. From there, the agency will verify eligibility and schedule a mediation session with the mortgage service. There are numerous options for the format of these meetings, including in-person, phone, or video conferencing.

The homeowner, the mortgage servicer, and a neutral mediator trained to facilitate communication between parties will be present at the mediation session. The mediator will assist the parties in reaching an agreement that is mutually acceptable and in the best interest of both parties. Decisions and resolutions can not be imposed onto the parties by the mediator.

During the session, the homeowner and the mortgage servicer will have the chance to discuss varying options for resolving the debt. These options may look like loan modification, repayment plans, forbearance, short sales, or other alternatives. There might be the possibility of a deed instead of foreclosure. This process involves the homeowner voluntarily transferring property ownership to the mortgage servicer in exchange for a release from the mortgage debt.

The mediator will prepare a written agreement that outlines the terms of the agreement if one is met during the mediation session. Both parties must sign the agreement and file with the court overseeing the foreclosure proceedings.

man frustrated running hands through hair looking at past due payments

Benefits of Foreclosure Mediation in Illinois

The Illinois Foreclosure Mediation Program offers several benefits to participants. Not only can mediation give homeowners a chance to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes, but it can also help them avoid damage to credit scores and the difficulty of securing future credit or housing.

Foreclosure mediation also provides homeowners with a more personalized approach to resolving their debt. The traditional foreclosure process is primarily driven by the mortgage servicer, where mediation allows homeowners to take an active role in negotiation that works for them.

Foreclosure litigation can be a time-consuming and expensive process that does not guarantee a favorable outcome for the homeowner. Conversely, mediation is usually completed within a few months and is significantly less expensive than going to court.

Last but not least, mediation can give homeowners a sense of closure and a fresh start. Homeowners can be left feeling helpless and hopeless throughout the foreclosure process. Mediation offers a solution allowing homeowners to regain control of their situation and move forward. If you still have questions on foreclosure take a look at our article, What to Expect During Foreclosure.


The Illinois Foreclosure Mediation Program provides valuable resources for those facing foreclosure. Mediation programs place homeowners in the position to avoid foreclosure and negotiate resolutions that work for them. Working with a neutral mediator opens the opportunity for various alternate solutions for resolving debt for both parties.

The benefits of foreclosure mediation in Illinois are significant. Mediation provides homeowners with a personalized approach to resolving their mortgage debt, and it can be a faster and less expensive alternative to litigation. Mediation can also help homeowners avoid the negative consequences of foreclosure and provide them with a sense of closure and a fresh start. With the proper support and guidance, you can navigate the foreclosure process and come out on the other side with a brighter financial future.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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