Foreclosure help available, not used

The news: The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved $3.5 million for a program that forces mortgage lenders to mediate foreclosure with homeowners. The Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program, launched in April, is voluntary for homeowners and provides volunteer lawyers and housing counselors to build their legal case. Behind the news: Less than 10 percent of eligible Cook County home-owners are participating in the program, according to a new analysis of court data obtained by The Chicago Reporter. Cook County homeowners qualify if they have received a foreclosure notice and live in a home with four residential units or less. People living in large condominium buildings do not qualify.