County program would give those who have defaulted on mortgages a second chance

Photo by Royce Hansman via stock.xchng

Individuals in Kenosha and Racine counties who have defaulted on their home mortgages could get another chance to save their home through a new program expected to be available in July.

The Home Foreclosure Mediation Program uses a formal mediation process between lenders and borrowers to affect an alternative to home foreclosures.

The process would be initiated in court when a judge refers foreclosed-upon borrowers to the program. The lender and the borrower each pay a non-refundable fee of $100 for the services. The fees will cover all program expenses and no tax dollars will be used to support the program. The program will be administered by LaVerne May in the Division of Personnel Services on the second floor of the Kenosha County Administration Building, 1010 56th St.

The ultimate intent is for a resolution to be reached that will result in the homeowner continuing to occupy the home.

Kenosha County will provide the administrative oversight for the program in Kenosha and Racine counties. The Kenosha County Finance Committee is expected on Thursday, June 16th to review and recommend to the full County Board a resolution allowing for the enactment of the program.

“It is a win-win for the people of Kenosha County and county government,” Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said. “A mediated mortgage program can help people stay in their homes and can keep properties occupied, thereby reducing the growing number of vacant and tax delinquent properties.”

The idea to explore a foreclosure mediation program for area residents was initiated by Kenosha County Board Supervisor Dayvin Hallmon.

“I saw that around the country, people were being foreclosed upon left and right and it seemed to me that our area was going to be very vulnerable to the foreclosure crisis,” Hallmon said.

“I started looking for solutions and found that other communities were offering mediation programs,” Hallmon said. “This isn’t the end-all and be-all to shut off the faucet of foreclosures, but this will be a significant tool to help slow them down.”

Home mediation programs have been successful in other counties, including Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. The development of the program for Kenosha and Racine counties has been aided by the expertise from the Marquette Foreclosure Mediation Program, administered by the Marquette University Law School.

When the program is up and running in July, the program phone number will be 262-653-2592, e-mail address,, and website,, which will go live after the County Board’s final approval.

Participating in the planning process for the Kenosha and Racine county foreclosure mediation program, in addition to Supervisor Hallmon and LaVerne May, have been: Kenosha County Judge Michael Wilk and Kenosha County Court Commissioner John Plous, and Racine County Judge Charles Constantine; Andrew M. Graubard, District Court Administrator, Second Judicial District of Wisconsin; Kenosha County Clerk of Courts Rebecca Matoska-Mentink and Racine County Clerk of Courts Rosanne Lee; and Kenosha County Personnel Director Robert Riedl.



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