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Columnist
Cook County offers online help for those in foreclosure
By Anna Marie Kukec | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 8/6/2010 12:00 AM

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The Cook County Circuit Court's Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program this week launched online help for people facing the foreclosure of their homes.

If you're part of that group, you can now request an appointment online with a housing counselor - at www.CookCountyForeclosureHelp.org/appointment-request - the first step in the foreclosure mediation process after receiving a court summons, said spokeswoman Holly Dotterer.

"In addition to giving people the opportunity to request an appointment who may not be able to call during the regular helpline hours, it also provides perhaps a more comfortable alternative for someone who may be reluctant to speak with someone on the phone - the foreclosure process can certainly be an overwhelming and an emotional experience for many, so the form provides an added layer of flexibility," said Dotterer.

The foreclosure program itself started last spring and has since helped about 1,500 homeowners. While online resources started this week in English, Polish and Spanish translation sites are expected to debut next week, she said.

Those who request an appointment via the online form should receive an e-mail within 48 hours confirming the date, she said.

The program and site are funded by the Cook County Board and administered by the court's Chancery Division with partnerships involving several state and local organizations.

For more information, see www.CookCountyForeclosureHelp.org or call toll-free (877) 895-2444.

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