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<xTITLE>Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation </xTITLE>

Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation

by Keith Seat
May 2013 Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on home foreclosure mediation developments within the United States by News Editor, Keith Seat.

  • The Illinois Attorney General has awarded $5 million in grants to establish new mortgage foreclosure mediation programs in Illinois counties that need them.  The grants will go to three regional projects which are working with law schools, nonprofits and circuit judges to begin mediation programs.  The funds are from Illinois’s share of the $25 billion national foreclosure settlement with the largest bank mortgage servicers.  LoanSafe (April 25, 2013)
  • The Illinois Supreme Court expanded its requirements for judicial districts that establish mortgage foreclosure mediation programs.  While there is some flexibility for differing conditions, all programs must demonstrate their plan’s feasibility and sustainability.  Court ADR Connection (March 4, 2013)
  • Lenders who challenged ordinances in Springfield, Massachusetts, establishing a foreclosure mediation program and requiring a bond for foreclosure on vacant properties lost in federal district court and appealed.  The parties voluntarily entered into mediation of the appeal and reached a resolution that will preserve the city’s foreclosure mediation program as long as the city eliminates the bond requirement.  Just ADR (March 14, 2013)
  • As in St. Louis County, the recently-passed foreclosure mediation ordinance of St. Louis City, Missouri, has been frozen by a circuit judge issuing a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement, although the court noted that voluntary participation in foreclosure mediation is permitted.  Opponents of the foreclosure mediation ordinances have also been successful in advancing state legislation to prevent local governments from regulating real estate loans, which caught foreclosure counselors by surprise.  St. Louis Beacon (March 6, 2013); St. Louis Public Radio (March 5, 2013); St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 29, 2013)
  • The Oregon Senate has passed a bill to expand the mortgage foreclosure legislation that the state enacted last summer by covering judicial foreclosures as well as non-judicial foreclosures.  The bill is now being considered by the House.  Over 400 homeowners sought mediation under the 2012 law, but only eight mediations occurred because most lenders shifted to judicial foreclosures or declined to mediate with at-risk homeowners.  Statesman Journal (April 18, 2013)
  • Legislation to extend the mortgage mediation program in Delaware by four years has passed both the Delaware House and Senate without opposition and awaits the governor’s signature.  Since the Delaware program began in January 2012, 80% of the 150 mediations have resulted in non-foreclosure resolutions, such as loan modifications and short sales.  WDEL News (April 24, 2013)


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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