Oregon is considering legislation that would require mandatory mediation before foreclosure on residential property and may involve the mediator running calculations to determine if the borrower qualifies for loan modification; the legislation would sunset in 2014. Oregon SB 628; The Oregonian (April 27, 2009)
Maine is considering legislation to establish a mandatory foreclosure mediation program which would stay the foreclosure action during the mediation. Maine LD 1418; MPBN News (April 28, 2009)
Minnesota is considering the Homeowner-Lender Mediation Act, which would require lenders to notify homeowners of their right to mediation prior to beginning foreclosure proceedings. The Executive Director of the Iowa Mediation Service warned that the legislation could open the proverbial floodgates. Finance and Commerce (April 1, 2009)
Pending Wisconsin legislation would require financial institutions provide mediation request forms to borrowers as the first step towards foreclosure, and would permit borrowers to stay in their homes until mediation is concluded. New Richmond News (April 16, 2009) (Registration Required); WISN.com (April 15, 2009)
Legislation in Connecticut would make mediation mandatory, rather than optional, in real estate foreclosures. Under existing law over a quarter of foreclosure proceedings have been mediated, with about 70 percent being resolved. Hartford Business (April 10, 2009); Connecticut S.B. 619 Analysis; Greenwich Time (March 10, 2009)
The Florida Supreme Court formed a task force in April to explore foreclosure mediation options that may be suitable statewide. Meanwhile, the Miami-Dade Circuit Court was to launch a pilot mediation program on May 1 which is intended to get lenders and borrowers talking to each other in an effort to avoid foreclosure. The 19th Circuit also has begun requiring mediation in owner-occupied foreclosure cases. Jacksonville is considering local legislation to require foreclosure mediation. Miami Herald (April 23, 2009); Jacksonville Daily Record (March 9, 2009); Jacksonville Daily Record (March 9, 2009)
New Jerseyplans to use part of a multi-million dollar settlement with Countrywide Financial Corp. to fund foreclosure mediation efforts in the state. The Star-Ledger (April 2, 2009)
The Superior Court in Marion, Indianapassed a new local rule allowing homeowners facing foreclosure the option of a settlement conference or mediation with their lender. The conferences are mandatory for the lender if the borrower responds. Indianapolis Star (March 11, 2009)
New Hampshire is exploring the idea of a mortgage mediation program to help struggling borrowers keep their homes. Fox News (March 8, 2009)
U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Florida) is urging mandatory mediation to minimize home foreclosures and seeking $50 billion from the Trouble Asset Relief Funds for foreclosure relief efforts. The Ledger (April 23, 2009)
Keith L. Seat is a full-time mediator and arbitrator who can effectively assist parties in resolving a wide range of telecommunications, antitrust and other commercial disputes. With over twenty years of legal experience as a mediator, arbitrator, litigator, advocate before executive branch agencies, and key staffer in the legislative and judicial branches, Mr. Seat brings a wealth of experience to his work as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties reach successful resolutions of complex disputes.
Mr. Seat began his legal career in a federal clerkship with U.S. District Judge William H. Becker, and then litigated antitrust and commercial disputes for many years at a major Washington law firm, Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White, where he first worked on telecom and technology issues. In 1993, Mr. Seat was named General Counsel of the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served for four years, playing a significant role in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Returning to the private sector in 1997, Mr. Seat rounded out his experience with a senior in-house counsel position at MCI, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms. At MCI, he gained a first-hand appreciation for the important perspective brought to issues and disputes by in-house decision-makers. Mr. Seat also deepened his knowledge of telecom issues and gained experience addressing competition-related issues in the corporate setting, as well as helping resolve disputes among large organizations.