mediation Tag

11 Feb Some legal aid organizations join the mortgage industry to force foreclosure mediation – Part 1

Great Seal - Florida Supreme CourtIn a curious move, two of Florida’s legal aid organizations joined mortgage industry lawyers in filing with the Florida Supreme Court an emergency petition to require mediation in all residential foreclosure cases. The two legal aid offices involved are Legal Services of Greater Miami and Florida Legal Services of Tallahassee. Conspicuously absent from the emergency petition is Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, a nationally recognized leader in the fight against foreclosures. JALA’s refusal to get on board immediately raises red flags and invites a close examination of this effort to force mediation in foreclosure cases. So, before I get into exactly what this group wants to do, I need to explain who they are. As Deep Throat told reporter Bob Woodward, “Just follow the money.”
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31 Jan Success For Mortgage Mediation in Connecticut?

Effective July 1, 2008, Connecticut established a mediation program for foreclosures. Statistics available for the latest period ending November 30 2008 reveal some interesting detail. Mediators are working diligently to rescue residential homes from the auctioneer. However, the program is missing important components.

In the period of July 1st to November 30th, there were 9,917 foreclosures filed in the state, an average of 450 cases per week. In that period, mediators successfully negotiated 519 cases so that homeowners got to remain in their homes. This is just slightly over 5% of all cases filed. Only 380 cases or 3.83% resulted in a modification of the mortgage terms. Despite the hard work of Connecticut's mediators, the state's residents are not being protected from foreclosure.

Is the program failing?

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28 Dec Mortgage Problems? Don’t wait until the last minute!

Your mortgage lender is foreclosing your home. What is your first step? Do you defend the foreclosure action? Do you file for bankruptcy? Do you look for a modification or workout of your mortgage? What questions do you need to ask?

All of these are valid steps in dealing with a mortgage default. Any number of reasons exist for why a mortgage lender decides to foreclose a home. You may have missed some payments or you may have failed to pay for the real estate tax bill when it came in or let the insurance lapse by mistake. The lender may have misapplied or lost your payment or improperly charged you fees that are not due. You may have valid defenses to the foreclosure or no defense at all. Whatever the reason, do not make the mistake of failing to get help.

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08 Oct Foreclosure Mediation is Dismal Failure

On July 1st, Connecticut enacted a Foreclosure Mediation Program to give homeowners a chance to negotiate resolution of their mortgage delinquency without being put out of their homes. In the three months that the program has been active, Connecticut mediators has successfully resolved about 150 cases with a revised payment plan. The dirty little secret? - that was only 3% of the cases set for mediation and a even smaller and minute number of the total foreclosures filed in that three month period.

Why is the program failing? For one, the program is new and not well-known despite attempts to put notices on the front of every foreclosure case that was filed after July 1, 2008. Second, there is only a short time to ask for the mediation and it does not apply to cases filed prior to July 1. Third, the program is not well-funded by the State of Connecticut and mediators have had only a short time to become trained in the process of foreclosures. Finally, the mediators have no power to enforce a re-structure of any mortgage and lenders have little incentive to make deals.

With the intervention of the federal government and merger of banking interests, the identity of the servicers and owners of the mortgages is constantly shifting.

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