How The Cook County Land Bank Works To Streamline Chicago's Foreclosure Logjam

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer said there are neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago and Cook County with buildings that were highly desirable, but were stuck in a lengthy court process too complicated for individual homeowners and developers to navigate. Those were falling into disrepair while accruing fines and back taxes.

Gainer, who has backgrounds in finance and community organizing, was chosen to start the Land Bank and immediately worked to streamline the legal process and clear properties. Once the Land Bank identifies a property for reactivation, it takes just under eight months to clear a property of all outstanding liens and bring it to market in a simple manner.