The Community Preservation Clinic allows law students the opportunity to
evaluate loan documents to assess options for people facing the daunting
prospect of foreclosure. In cases where foreclosure cannot be avoided, students
work to minimize client liability and work with lenders to establish financing
"There is simply no substitute for legal representation when facing
foreclosure," Madigan said. "Not only will this funding give more central
Illinois residents an advocate to fight for them in court, it will give law
students an opportunity to gain real lawyering skills by applying what they've
learned in the classroom to their work in the courtroom."
The attorney general's grant will be used by the clinic to provide legal
assistance in two central Illinois counties. In the McLean County Mandatory
Foreclosure Mediation Program, the clinic will train and support the program's
volunteer attorneys and conduct targeted outreach to homeowners living on
Bloomington's west side. The grant also will be used to conduct a program
evaluation developed by law and psychology professors to assess how participants
perceive the mediation process.
In Champaign County, the clinic will use the foreclosure settlement funding
to provide legal representation for tenants living in foreclosed properties. Law
students will represent tenants caught up in landlord-tenant disputes when a
property is on the verge of foreclosure. Students will interview tenants, assess
legal defenses and, when appropriate, conduct trial work.
"As a public, land-grant law school, the University of Illinois College of
Law is committed to serving the citizens of Illinois," said Bruce Smith, dean of
the college. "Protecting homeowners and preserving dynamic communities are
worthy goals, and we are proud and grateful to have our efforts supported by an
office that is nationally recognized for its leadership in the areas of
foreclosure, consumer protection and community vitality."
"This generous and visionary grant will permit the College of Law's Community
Preservation Clinic to expand its services to the citizens of Illinois in an
area of critical and pressing need," said Stacey Tutt, director of the clinic.
"Foreclosure affects not only homeowners and lenders, but also neighbors,
taxpayers, courts and entire communities. With this additional support from the
attorney general, the clinic is in a stronger position to assist those impacted
by the state and national foreclosure crisis."
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The funding stems from Madigan's role in securing a $25 billion national
settlement in February 2012 with the nation's five largest bank mortgage
servicers -- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally
Bank, formerly GMAC. The settlement addressed allegations of widespread "robo-signing"
of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices that bank servicers
engaged in while servicing loans of struggling homeowners.
As part of the national settlement, Madigan's office recovered money to
remediate the historic levels of foreclosure in Illinois. The announcement on
Tuesday is among the series of distributions of that funding, which as a whole
will benefit legal assistance programs, housing counseling services and
community revitalization efforts.
In addition to the cash payments directed to the state, Illinois borrowers
will receive an estimated $1 billion in direct relief as a result of the
national settlement to assist those who have lost their homes, are underwater or
at imminent risk of defaulting on their mortgages. The settlement will also
completely overhaul mortgage servicing standards to prevent future abuses by
Consumers seeking more information on the national settlement can contact
Madigan's Homeowner's Helpline at 866-544-7151 or visit her website at
consumers/bankforeclosuresettlement.html. For more information, borrowers
can also visit
[Text from file received from the office
Illinois Attorney General Lisa