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The Illinois Supreme Court is addressing the foreclosure crisis by forming a special committee to formulate a streamlined judicial foreclosure process for the state. The catalyst for the study is the 70,000 mortgage foreclosure actions pending in Cook County, Ill., where Chicago is located, at the end of 2010. According to judges and lawyers involved in the committee, the problem is far from going away. "The Supreme Court has a keen interest in programs with the strong promise of achieving timely and lasting resolution to tough problems, and we believe this select committee can come up with specific solutions to help families cope with the emotional and financial burdens of those facing such a devastating loss,” said Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride Monday in a statement. The new committee's 14 members include judges, bankers, lawyers, a law professor and at least one official from the Illinois Attorney General's office. The goal is to make foreclosure proceedings in Illinois "fair, efficient and final." The goal is to make sure homeowners understand the legal proceedings and have access to information to ensure they know if their lenders have taken all the necessary steps to foreclose. The committee will focus on developing procedures for handling foreclosure inventory, while also studying effective procedures in other states. The committee will recommend to the Supreme Court judicial foreclosure rules that will be proposed for adoptions statewide. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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