Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation
Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation
- Members of Congress from Ohio, California and Florida in February introduced the Foreclosure Mandatory Mediation Act, H.R. 4635, as companion legislation to S. 2912. The federal legislation would require mandatory mediation by lenders of loans with federal guarantees or federal insurance. The required one-time mediation would involve both the mortgagor and a housing counseling agency and would be paid for by the lender. Federal Information & News Dispatch (March 3, 2010) (Subscription Required)
- While the Florida Supreme Court ordered each of the 20 circuit courts in the state to establish its own foreclosure mediation process, only three circuits have complied with the order to date. Florida was hit with an additional 296,000 foreclosure filings in the last quarter of 2009, pushing the number of pending foreclosures to 456,000. Jacksonville.com (February 13, 2010)
- Nevada judges have stated publicly that they will not impose loan modifications even if lenders do not negotiate in good faith in mediations. RGJ.com (January 24, 2010)
- New Hampshire has begun a Foreclosure Mediation Program which is voluntary for homeowners and free to both borrowers and lenders. The program is being funded by grants from several sources. Nashua Telegraph (January 18, 2010); Foreclosure Mediation Program
- Lenders attempting to foreclose on primary residences on the Big Island of Hawaii must now notify borrowers of their right to mediation by serving a mediation notice along with other documents. Star Bulletin (January 21, 2010); Judiciary Press Release (January 20, 2010)
- Providence, Rhode Island has mandated a foreclosure mediation process, and the City Council is seeking to add a $2,000 fine for banks or lenders who fail to attempt to renegotiate mortgages with homeowners before filing a deed of foreclosure. Projo.com (January 25, 2010)
- Maryland’s governor is pushing for the emergency legislation he introduced to institute a mandatory foreclosure mediation program in the state, and would like lenders to support the plan. Lenders remain concerned about anything that would slow down the foreclosure process. Maryland looked to South Carolina’s foreclosure prevention efforts, which require a showing that borrowers are not eligible for modification under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program prior to foreclosure. Governor O’Malley Press Release (February 16, 2010); Daily Record (January 18, 2010)
- Although the governor of Minnesota vetoed the Homeowner-Lender Mediation Act in 2009, it has been reintroduced this year and the Minnesota attorney general will again seek enactment. Legal Newsline.com (January 6, 2010)
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.
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