Community Preservation Clinic awarded $794K grant from Illinois Attorney General

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The College of Law’s Community Preservation Clinic has been awarded a $794,000 grant from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to support the expansion of mediation programs in the foreclosure area, as well as research aimed at better understanding the perceptions of persons involved in foreclosure-related mediations. The grant – which builds upon a prior $403,000 award announced earlier this year – is funded through proceeds from a national foreclosure settlement secured by the Illinois Attorney General and dedicated to funding mortgage foreclosure mediation programs.  

“The College of Law is a nationally recognized leader in the field of consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure. As the state’s flagship public law school, we are privileged to partner with the Illinois Attorney General to serve the citizens of Illinois in this important area of public policy,” said Bruce Smith, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law.

“Building on previous successes in other Illinois jurisdictions, the Clinic will assist counties in central Illinois in developing and launching foreclosure mediation programs designed to make the foreclosure process more effective, efficient, collaborative, and humane,” said Stacey Tutt, Director of the Community Preservation Clinic. 

The faculty members and students associated with the program will assess the needs and resources within each judicial circuit and work with the judiciary, court clerks, housing counseling agencies, legal aid organizations, bar associations, and other stakeholders to develop and launch the mediation programs. The grant will also help expand empirical research by faculty members affiliated with the College of Law’s Program on Law, Behavior and Social Science (including Professors Dov Cohen, Robert Lawless, and Jennifer Robbennolt) designed to assess the efficacy of existing mediation programs and investigate how the attitudes and backgrounds of participants may affect the process.

“These research tools hold the promise not just for direct improvements in mediation,” said Lawless. “They also offer opportunities for innovative interventions that may make the foreclosure process reach outcomes seen as more mutually beneficial for both lenders and borrowers.”

Read The News-Gazette article.